In an attempt to address one of the team’s thinnest positions the Miami Dolphins claimed Ray Smith off the waiver wire a day after the defensive tackle was waived by the San Francisco 49ers.
To make room for Smith, who spent his rookie season in the NFL on the Detroit Lions and the 49ers practice squad, Miami released cornerback Ryan Lewis, who joined the team last October after being claimed off waiver and started three of the eight games he played for the Dolphins.
The acquisition of Smith, and the activation of rookie Benito Jones off the reserve/COVID-19 list, will help fortify a thin defensive tackle unit, which now features six players.
Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux served as starters last year, and are expected to remain in those roles if they stay healthy and aren’t beaten out by Raekwon Davis, the team’s 2020 second-round pick, or Zach Sieler, a third-year veteran Miami poached off the Ravens practice squad late last season.
Smith, a former Boston College standout who started 34 of the 40 games he played in, racked up 138 tackles, eight passes defensed, 1.5 sacks, and one interception during his collegiate career, will likely compete with Jones for a spot on the team’s 16-player practice squad.
Jones, an Ole Miss standout the Dolphins signed as an undrafted rookie, was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday along with XX other players. The COVID-19 reserve list was categorized for a player who either tested positive for COVID-19, or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons.
If a player falls in either of those categories their franchise is required to immediately place them on the reserve/COVID-19 list per the agreement made by the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association. Teams also aren’t allowed to disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19, but based on Jones’ quick exit from the list it’s safe to assume he had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and already recovered, or had just ended his quarantine.
Lewis, who contributed 28 tackles, one interception and broke up five passes for the Dolphins last season, will be searching for his seventh team since joining the NFL in 2017. It’s possible a team in need of cornerback help will claim him off the waiver wire on Thursday. The Dolphins have a ton of depth at cornerback despite Xavien Howard beginning the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list because of the left knee injury he’s been rehabbing since November.
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