The Miami Dolphins have activated rookie left tackle Austin Jackson, removing him from injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Miami also elevated practice-squad receiver Kirk Merritt, putting the rookie from Arkansas State on the game day roster.
Jackson, the Dolphins' second of three first-round picks in 2020, started the first four games, but suffered a foot injury in Miami’s 31-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and was placed on injured reserve, with the designation to return to the 53-man roster.
Jackson had to sit out the past three games, but practiced this week and Miami’s coaches apparently liked what they saw. However, it is unclear if he’ll regain a starting role, replacing Jesse Davis, who stepped in and played left tackle in his absence, or if Jackson will be utilized as a reserve.
If Jackson regains his starting left tackle spot, Davis could move back to right tackle. But Robert Hunt, a rookie Miami selected in the second-round of the 2020 draft, replaced Davis as the starting right tackle, and has been playing well.
It is possible that all three rookies — Jackson, Hunt and Solomon Kindley, the former Georgia standout the Dolphins have been using as the starting right guard — could be in the lineup Sunday.
Merritt, a former Arkansas State standout who led the Sun Belt conference in receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,005), joined the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie after the draft and has spent the entire season on the practice squad.
This is the first game he’s been promoted to the game day roster. Last week the Dolphins promoted cornerback Tae Hayes and defensive tackle Benito Jones to the game day roster for the Los Angeles Rams game because of injuries defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (shoulder) and cornerback Jamal Perry (foot) were nursing. Those injuries won’t prevent either player from playing against the Cardinals.
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