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PREGAME NOTES: Spadola To Make Dolphins Debut; Other Notes

Posted Oct 31, 2013

Chris Chambers’ protégé lands on his second 53-man roster.



So while wide receiver Ryan Spadola will be active tonight for the Dolphins against the Bengals after being promoted off of the practice squad, four more rookies will not.

Rookie running back Mike Gillislee, rookie cornerback Will Davis, rookie guard Dallas Thomas and rookie tight end Dion Sims are all inactive, with Sims recovering from a toe injury. Third-string quarterback Pat Devlin, guard Danny Watkins and tackle Jonathan Martin are also inactive.

For the Bengals, linebacker Rey Maualuga, defensive tackle Devon Still, running back Rex Burkhead, center Trevor Robinson, tackle Andrew Whitworth, cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and linebacker Michael Boley are inactive.

But this was not the way Ryan Spadola wanted to make his way back onto an NFL 53-man roster, especially since Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Gibson was becoming such a mentor to him.

Spadola’s locker is right next to Gibson’s, so when the news came down the pike Tuesday that Gibson was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn patellar tendon it was bittersweet for the Lehigh grad. He already had experienced making an active roster when he survived the final cuts of training camp with the New York Jets. The undrafted free agent was in on 30 snaps in three of the first four games for the Jets before being waived and landing on Miami’s practice squad.

Now Spadola will get his second chance as an active player with the Dolphins just around the corner from where he trained for the NFL Scouting Combine with former Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers at The Chamber. Miami signed him to an active contract today.

“It’s crazy how it’s all come together,” Spadola told Dolphins.com two weeks ago after his first practice with the team. “It’s really more like two full circles because it started for me up in New Jersey where I’m from and where I went to college, continued down here with Chris, and then I thought it was ending back in New Jersey with the Jets. But as a rookie I’m learning about the business side of professional football.”

Spadola’s been familiarizing himself with Miami’s offense for the past three weeks and will put his knowledge to the test tonight against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sun Life Stadium. He’s behind starters Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Rishard Matthews on the depth chart.

New York Jets fans took a liking to Spadola in the preseason after he caught 13 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. His breakout performance against the New York Giants, when he had three receptions for 110 yards in a 24-21 overtime victory, really increased his popularity. He caught a 22-yard touchdown pass and his 70-yard reception in overtime set up the game-winning field goal, landing him in the coaching staff’s good graces.

All indications were that after he was released two days before New York’s Monday Night game at the Atlanta Falcons he would be re-signed back to the practice squad. The Dolphins picked him up before that could happen, keeping him in the AFC East and perhaps finding that fourth receiver to fill the void created by Gibson’s injury.

THIS AND THAT

Tonight’s team captains for the Dolphins are wide receiver Brian Hartline, long snapper John Denney and safety Reshad Jones. ….Former Dolphins defensive tackle Bob Baumhower, Hall of Famers fullback Larry Csonka and guard Larry Little are the honoray captains.
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