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Dolphins elevate two for Sunday’s game against Lions

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Eagles at Dolphins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins elevated two practice squad players to the game-day roster for Sunday’s Week 8 contest against the Detroit Lions. The team announced on Saturday the move to make safety Verone McKinley III and wide receiver Braylon Sanders available for the contest. The move comes as Miami continues to deal with injuries to the defensive secondary and at wide receiver.

Under the 2022 collective bargaining agreement, NFL teams are allowed to elevate up to two players from the practice squad each week. Those elevations do not count against the regular season roster limit of 53 players and the players can be part of the 46-man game-day active roster. A player can be elevated up to three times during the season, a change from the two-time limit from last season. If the team were to look to use a player for a fourth time during the season, he would have to be signed to the 53-man roster.

This is the third time McKinley has been activated for the Dolphins. He has appeared in one game, playing 16 snaps last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, recording one tackle. McKinley was an undrafted free agent signed by the Dolphins this year after he played four seasons at Oregon. He has been on the practice squad all year.

Miami’s secondary has been decimated by injuries all season, starting with cornerback Byron Jones who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list all season. Cornerback Xavien Howard has been dealing with groin muscle injuries all year, while cornerbacks Nik Needham and Trill Williams are on injured reserve. Safety Brandon Jones landed on injured reserve this week, while cornerbacks Kader Kohou and Keion Crossen have both been dealing with injuries all week. Adding McKinley to the secondary depth is a solid move for Miami heading into this week’s game.

The Dolphins are also light at wide receiver for Sunday’s game. The team updated their injury report on Saturday, ruling wide receiver River Cracraft out of the contest with a neck injury. Miami adds depth to the receivers group with the elevation of Sanders, his first of the season. Sanders was signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent this year out of Ole Miss. After spending all year on the practice squad, he is now in line to make his NFL debut against the Lions.

Miami’s elevations this year have included”

  • Larnel Coleman, offensive tackle - 3 elevations (Weeks 2-4) - Signed with the Carolina Panthers on 10/25/22
  • River Cracraft, wide receiver - 3 elevations (Weeks 1-3) - Signed to Dolphins active roster for Week 4
  • Verone McKinley III, safety - 3 elevations (Weeks 1, 7-8)
  • Brandon Shell, offensive lineman - 2 elevations (Week 5-6) - Signed to Dolphins active roster for Week 7
  • Braylon Sanders, wide receiver - 1 elevation (Week 8)
  • Kion Smith, offensive lineman - 1 elevation (Week 6)
  • Ben Sille, defensive lineman - 1 elevation (Week 7)