The Dolphins on Tuesday activated cornerback Nik Needham from the physically-unable-to-perform list and placed starting left guard Isaiah Wynn on injured reserve.
Needham’s 21-day practice window had come to an end but he now takes Wynn’s spot on the 53-man roster. Needham could make his season debut against the New England Patriots on Sunday, more than a year after tearing his Achilles.
Needham brings depth and versatility to a secondary that was without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey for Miami’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he sees Needham helping in the slot and at safety.
Wynn will miss at least four games on IR after injuring his quad against the Eagles. He’s the third Dolphins starting offensive lineman to be sidelined by injury. Left tackle Terron Armstead remains on IR because of a knee injury but is eligible to return against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9. Center Connor Willaims missed his second consecutive game and third of the season against the Eagles because of a lingering groin injury.
Lester Cotton replaced Wynn against the Eagles and the Dolphins have multiple options at left guard while Wynn is sidelined. Liam Eichenberg, who has filled in for Williams at center, could move to left guard when Williams is healthy. The team could also play Robert Jones, who returned from IR in Week 6.
Miami has already used three of its eight allotted return designations for players on IR or the non-football injury list, bringing back Jones, Ramsey and running back Jeff Wilson Jr.
Armstead and rookie running back De’Von Achane are expected to return in the coming weeks. Rookie running back Chris Brooks and wide receiver River Cracraft and Erik Ezukanma are also eligible to return this season.