The 6-2 Miami Dolphins are set to face off against the 6-2 Kansas City Chiefs in Germany, taking a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC international. The Dolphins were quiet at the NFL trade deadline earlier this week, but that does not mean they are not in a position to bolster their roster. After cornerback Jalen Ramsey was activated off injured reserve last week, making his season debut against the New England Patriots, the Dolphins could soon see the return of another Pro Bowl starter. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel told the media on Wednesday the team has designated tackle Terron Armstead for return from injured reserve.
Armstead will begin practicing on Wednesday and is eligible to play in Sunday’s Week 9 game against the Chiefs. With the IR-return designation, Armstead can practice for up to 21 days before Miami must decide to activate him or leave him on IR for the remainder of the season.
The tackle traveled with the team to Germany on Tuesday.
Miami has their bye week in Week 10. If the team was not hopeful that Armstead would be ready to play this weekend, burning a week of his 21-day window during the bye week would not seem to make sense.
Armstead was injured during Miami’s Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The tackle was engaged in a block when another player rolled into his leg, injuring his knee. The Dolphins have been very conservative with injured players this year, opting to sideline them and protect them for the long term rather than rush them back to play and risk further complicating the issue. Armstead was already dealing with back, knee, and ankle injuries this year before the injury to the other knee.
The NFL allows teams to return up to eight players from injured reserve during the season. The player must have missed at least four games before they can be brought back to the active 53-man roster. The Dolphins have designated five players to return from injured reserve this year, using the majority of their allocation as the season nears the half-way point. Guard Rob Jones, running back Jeff Wilson, Jr., and Ramsey have already been activated. Wide receiver River Cracraft has been designated for return and is entering the second week of the three-week practice window. Now Armstead has been designated.
Miami also returned cornerback Nik Needham to the active roster, but his move was from the physically unable to perform list and did not count against the eight allocations.
Running back De’Von Achane and guard Isaiah Wynn could both be activated in the coming weeks; Achane is eligible after this weekend’s game while Wynn would be eligible after Week 12. Running back Chris Brooks, cornerback Keion Crossen, and linebacker Zeke Vandenburgh are all in injured reserve, but may be forced to stay there all season as return slots diminish. Wide receiver Erik Ezukanma is on the non-football injury list, but his return would take a designation slot as well.
The Dolphins and Chiefs are scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff on Sunday from Frankfurt, Germany, the only game in the morning slot for Week 9.