NFL News & Analysis

Miami Dolphins Training Camp Roundup, 7/31: David Long's early impact, Jalen Ramsey injury update and more

2REJ1WG Miami Dolphins cornerback Cam Smith (24) and cornerback Keion Crossen, right, run drills during practice at the NFL football team's training facility, Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Terron Armstead activated from PUP list

Starting left tackle Terron Armstead was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp but was activated Monday. Although Armstead was not in pads for the practice, the move signals he is on track to be ready for the season opener come September. 

Armstead ranked 15th out of 79 qualifying tackles with a 77.6 overall grade last season despite battling knee, toe, pectoral and hip injuries throughout the year. The Dolphins’ offensive line struggled mightily with Armstead out of the lineup, so keeping him as fresh as possible over the next month is crucial to the team’s success moving forward.

Cam Smith stepping in for Jalen Ramsey

Cornerback Cam Smith had a strong practice Monday, flashing elite coverage skills while breaking up multiple passes. The rookie out of South Carolina will be asked to contribute immediately following the loss of All-Pro Jalen Ramsey in the secondary. 

Smith was primarily an outside cornerback in his first two seasons at South Carolina but played significant snaps (195) in the slot last season. His versatility in Vic Fangio’s defense will be key as the unit tries to overcome the loss of Ramsey in the first half of the season.

Jalen Ramsey injury update

Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey is just a few days removed from surgery on his left meniscus but is already saying and doing all the right things. According to head coach Mike McDaniel, Ramsey said, “Tell me whatever the timeline is, I’m gonna beat it by a month.” 

Ramsey’s 90.4 overall grade over the past two seasons is the top mark among all cornerbacks in the NFL. While the Dolphins cannot simply replace the type of elite production he provides, they do have depth at the cornerback position behind Xavien Howard in Kader Kohou, Cam Smith and the recently signed Eli Apple, among others.

David Long making an immediate impact

David Long made his presence known on the first day of padded practice. Miami had arguably the steal of free agency when they signed Long for two years and $11 million. The PFF projection was $40 million over four years with $25 million guaranteed. 

Long finished the 2022 season ranked inside the top five in both pass-rush grade (80.1) and run-defense grade (89.0) among qualifying linebackers. He has improved his overall grade in each of his four seasons in the NFL and is still in the prime of his career at just 26 years old.

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