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Dolphins activate Jerome Baker for Week 18 game against Bills

The Miami Dolphins are getting back their starting inside linebacker and defensive signal caller.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have activated linebacker Jerome Baker from the injured reserve list, making him available for the team’s Sunday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 18. The move comes just a few days after the team designated Baker for return and well ahead of the 21-day window the Dolphins had to make the move. With the move, Miami could see their defensive signal caller back on the field as they face the Bills with the AFC East championship on the line.

The Dolphins placed Baker on injured reserve at the start of December following a knee injury during the team’s Week 13 game against the Washington Commanders. Baker was attempting to chase down Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel on a long run-and-catch down the right sideline. Just prior to the endzone, Dolphins safety Brandon Jones attempted to knock Samuel out of bounds but, in the process, hit Baker’s legs, spraining his medial collateral ligament.

Baker has recorded 69 tackles this season, along with 1.5 sacks, three passes defensed, and two interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. He has played 12 games this year, starting all of them before his injury caused him to miss the last four contests.

Duke Riley has started in Baker’s place since the injury.

The Dolphins officially placed linebacker Bradley Chubb on injured reserve to make roster space for Baker. Chubb suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during the team’s Week 17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Chubb, who is a first alternate for the Pro Bowl this year, recorded 73 tackles, two passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, and 11 sacks this season. He leads the league with six forced fumbles. The injury will cost Chubb the remainder of the season and could keep him sidelined through part of the 2024 season as well.

The Dolphins and Bills kickoff from Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium at 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday night. The winner of the game will claim the AFC East division title and the second seed in the AFC playoff picture. With a loss, Miami will be the sixth seed while a loss for the Bills could have them land in the sixth or seventh-seed position or have Buffalo miss the playoffs.