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Miami Dolphins add Shell, McKinley III, and Stille for Sunday night contest vs Steelers

With the Dolphins thin at tackle and defensive back, all three could see snaps.

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have signed offensive tackle Brandon Shell to the active roster and elevated safety Verone McKinley III and defensive lineman Ben Stille from the practice squad in preparation for their prime time contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday evening.

With Miami having a lengthy injury report, there is a good possibility that all three will play meaningful snaps this week, with Shell the most likely to start. Brandon Shell was added to the practice squad back in September and made his regular season debut against the New York Jets in week five. Shell is a veteran of seven NFL seasons and had been a starting right tackle for both the Jets and Seahawks before landing on Miami’s practice squad this season.

Shell struggled against the Jets (at left tackle), allowing seven total pressures and four quarterback hits (per PFF). The following week he was moved back to his old position at right tackle and had a strong outing, helping to stabilize the right side of the offensive line against the Vikings. Look for him to start there again this week while Austin Jackson works his way back from injury.

Verone McKinley III spent training camp with the Miami Dolphins this year as an undrafted free agent and was signed to the practice squad in early September. McKinley, who played safety opposite Jevon Holland at Oregon, had a solid preseason and has shown a knack for making big plays throughout his college and NFL career. If the rookie plays against the Steelers it will be his regular season debut in the NFL.

With Nik Needham out for the season, Keion Crossen officially doubtful and Xavien Howard and Kader Kohou both questionable for Sunday’s contest, the Dolphins are thin at defensive back. The Dolphins luckily have some versatile players on the back end, and that is likely where McKinley III fits in. Jevon Holland played a lot of slot corner at Oregon and Eric Rowe is actually one of the Dolphins most experienced outside corners. Either one can be shifted around in a pinch and would need a safety to fill in at their position.

Ben Stille is a 2022 undrafted free agent out of Nebraska who was also added to the practice squad in early Septermber with Verone McKinley III. Stille played all over the defensive line this preseason and is a bit of tweener at 6’5 290 lbs. His versatility can add depth at multiple positions this Sunday. Like McKinley, Stille also had a strong preseason.

Look for Brandon Shell to play a key role in protecting Tua Tagovailoa against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass rush this weekend. Verone McKinley III should give Miami some much needed depth in the defensive backfield and Ben Stille could see some rotational snaps at either defensive end or tackle.