The Miami Dolphins made plenty of moves Wednesday to trim their roster down to 79 players as training camp is underway.
The Dolphins announced they claimed defensive tackle Ray Smith off waivers from the San Fransisco 49ers Wednesday.
Miami also waived cornerback Ryan Lewis and activated defensive tackle Benito Jones off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Smith went undrafted in 2019 and was signed to the Detroit Lions’ practice squad before being cut in August 2019. The 6-foot-1, 302-pound Smith then signed with San Fransisco’s practice squad in December 2019 and spent the offseason with the team before being cut on July 28.
Smith was a four-year letterman at Boston College, playing in 40 games with 34 starts, garnering 138 tackles, eight passes defensed, 1.5 sacks, and one interception.
Lewis entered the league as an undrafted college free agent in 2017, and after stints with the Cardinals, Patriots, Eagles, Colts and Bills, the Dolphins claimed him off waivers last October.
In 13 games with three starts for Miami in 2019, Lewis accounted for 28 total tackles and one interception off a Baker Mayfield pass in a Week 12 meeting against the Cleveland Browns. A hamstring injury placed him on the injured reserve and forced him to miss the season’s final three games.
Jones was signed by Miami on April 29 after going undrafted in 2020. A four-year letterman at Ole Miss, Jones recorded 66 solo tackles, 66 assisted tackles, and 31 tackles for loss. During his senior year, his stats peaked, recording 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, which was enough to name him to the All-SEC Second-Team.
Jones was added to the COVID-19 reserve list on Monday, along with long snapper Blake Ferguson, defensive tackle Benito Jones and cornerback Cordea Tankersley.
Being placed on the list means two things: either the player has tested positive for COVID-19 or he’s been quarantined after having been in close contact with people that have. Per the NFL-NFLPA policy, teams are not allowed to disclose for which reason a player is added to the list.
While in the reserve, a team is allowed to promote a practice squad player to fill the roster spot and can return that player to the practice squad without waivers. Players may be activated from the list when they are healthy.
Players will have to bring back two negative COVID-19 tests before being allowed to return. If a player tests positive, he can return at least 72 hours after symptoms have passed or at least 10 days after symptoms first appear, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The roster stands at 79 players with the moves Wednesday, but will rise to 81 once Ferguson and Tankersley come off the reserve/COVID-19 list. It’ll climb to 83 players once/if Xavien Howard and Munson are reactivated. Miami will have to trim their roster to 81 by August 16.
Teams could have up to 90 players in camp if they split practice sessions into two squads, which could require teams to use both stadium and regular practice facilities, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.