WR Pruitt Signed Off Practice Squad; Davis, Merling Out

Posted Nov 5, 2011

Julius Pruitt’s hard work and patience has finally paid off as the Dolphins wide receiver was signed off of the practice squad today and could be active for tomorrow’s game in Kansas City.

Additionally, the team has announced that cornerback Vontae Davis (non-injury) and defensive end Phillip Merling (non-injury) have been ruled out in Sunday’s contest at the Kansas City Chiefs.

This was Pruitt’s third year on the practice squad, and when Marlon Moore was placed on Injured Reserve with a foot injury on Tuesday he began to believe his chance had arrived. Pruitt gives Miami five active receivers again as he joins Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and rookie Clyde Gates.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for,” Pruitt said. “I’ve just been trying to get better each week and just wait for my name to be called. You just never know when your name is going to be called so you just always try to be prepared. Each week pay attention and know exactly what you’re doing just in case so when you get in there you won’t have any missteps.”

Bess was one of Pruitt’s biggest supporters and willingly passed on as much advice as possible to his protégé having made the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2008. Pruitt looked to him as an example as well as former Dolphins practice squad receiver Anthony Armstrong, who is now a regular with the Washington Redskins.

During practice the players like Pruitt and fellow practice squad receiver Patrick Carter do just as much as the players on the 53-man roster. So Bess was seeing progress and promise every day on the field.

“That’s what the NFL is all about right there, giving people opportunities and seeing if you can make the most of it,” said Bess, who has more career receptions (236) in his first four years than any other Dolphin undrafted player in history. “I’m happy for Pruitt. He’s a guy that worked his butt off every day and he deserves it. I think he has good size, catches the ball well and he’s physical.”

When Miami takes the field against the Chiefs, Pruitt will likely be used more in the special teams role Moore played before his injury. You can expect to see him as the gunner on punt returns and as one of the first guys down the field on kickoff returns.

Should he enter the game at wide receiver at some point, Pruitt is confident in what he brings to the offense and certainly eager to prove that he belongs. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound Arkansas native was a two-year starter at Ouachita Baptist University and caught 77 passes for 1,116 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year in 2008.

“Like Marshall I’m a bigger receiver and also I can run,” said Pruitt, who was signed off the practice squad before last season’s finale at New England but declared inactive for the game. “But my value is going to be on special teams and I’m just going to try to make an impact and help the team that way.”

Considering the fact he was on the eight-man practice squad as recently as yesterday, that’s all Pruitt can ask for is that opportunity.

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