Jalen Ramsey is not set to make his Dolphins debut for months. With the All-Pro cornerback in the team’s plans for 2023, he needed to be placed on the 53-man roster before an IR move could commence. The latter transaction will take place Thursday morning.
Ramsey is now on IR, and running back Jeff Wilson joins him. The latter sustained a finger injury recently. The Dolphins also placed offensive lineman Robert Jones on IR and signed cornerback Justin Bethel. Wilson must miss at least four games because of this designation. Mike McDaniel said a midsection issue also led to Wilson landing on IR; the second-year coach added he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Wilson returns this season, via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. That comment does not make it sound like Wilson is a lock to come back when first eligible.
Thursday’s moves give the Dolphins three potential IR-return players. Ramsey’s knee injury required surgery, a procedure that is expected to sideline the trade acquisition until at least December. Teams can bring up to eight players off IR per season, with the NFL reintroducing a limit on such moves last year.
Wilson will begin a second season on an injured list in three years. He opened the 2021 campaign on the 49ers’ reserve/PUP list due to an offseason foot injury. Formerly playing for McDaniel in San Francisco, Wilson reunited with the former 49ers run-game coordinator via a deadline-day trade last year. The veteran running back joined fellow ex-49er Raheem Mostert in re-signing with the Dolphins this offseason. Both stayed on one-year deals. The Dolphins also reupped Myles Gaskin in March, but after a release Tuesday, the fifth-year back signed with the Vikings.
Miami kept five halfbacks on its active roster. Wilson’s injury looks to have factored into that decision. Mostert, third-round pick Devon Achane, Salvon Ahmed and rookie UDFA Chris Brooks comprise the Dolphins’ group of available backs to start the season. Wilson, 27, hit the ground running in Miami last year. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry, gaining 368 and totaling three touchdowns in eight games with the Dolphins.
This injury opens the door for an early-season Achane workload, though the Texas A&M product is also dealing with an injury. Achane is not a lock to start the season on time, per McDaniel (via Jackson). Despite only coming into the draft with four selections, Miami used one on a running back. The Dolphins have also scoured the trade market and free agency for available standouts. After being connected to Dalvin Cook for months, the team went back and forth in negotiations with the Colts on Jonathan Taylor. Although no deal commenced — due in part to the Dolphins viewing the Colts’ ask as exorbitant, as one Indianapolis proposal included Jaylen Waddle — the parties can reconnect in talks ahead of the October 31 trade deadline.
Bethel, 33, re-signed with the Dolphins in March and was among the veterans the team released on cutdown day. Miami continues to have the ace special-teamer in its plans, however.