Dolphins elevate WR River Cracraft, S Verone McKinley for game against Patriots – The Denver Post

The Miami Dolphins elevated wide receiver River Cracraft and safety Verone McKinley from their practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

McKinley, the undrafted rookie out of Oregon, could help a Dolphins secondary that may be without safety Eric Rowe, who is questionable with a pectoral injury.

McKinley was a ballhawk in college, intercepting 11 passes over 38 games. He played alongside starting Dolphins safety Jevon Holland with the Ducks. He impressed during training camp but did not make the initial 53-man roster as the cornerback-safety versatility and special teams play of Elijah Campbell earned him the final defensive back spot.

This week, McKinley was one of three players wearing a colorful camouflage jersey at Friday’s practice to signify a strong week of practice. Backup center Michael Deiter and practice-squad wide receiver Freddie Swain also wore those jerseys on Friday.

Miami is already down cornerback Byron Jones in the secondary. He is out at least the first four weeks of the season on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list following lower-left-leg surgery in the offseason.

Cracraft gives the Dolphins a sixth wide receiver on game day against New England. On the active roster Miami has had a small group on the of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedrick Wilson Jr., rookie Erik Ezukanma and Trent Sherfield. In the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cracraft had a touchdown catch from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to cap the opening series.

Cracraft, who spent the past two seasons with Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel in San Francisco after playing for the Denver Broncos his first two NFL seasons, has seven career receptions for 85 yards. He also has special teams experience, including in the return game, giving McDaniel another option there if he doesn’t want to expose stars like Hill, Waddle, Holland and running back Raheem Mostert to the potential of injury on special teams.

NFL teams can elevate up to two practice-squad players to the active roster per game. In 2022, players can get the call up three times over the course of the season, up from two last year.

Along with Rowe, Dolphins nose tackle Raekwon Davis (knee), outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (illness), running back Salvon Ahmed (heel) and tight end Tanner Conner (knee) are questionable for Sunday.


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