Linebacker Raekwon McMillan did not play at all during the preseason, but he declared himself ready for the start of the regular season after getting back to practice Monday.
“Felt good,” McMillan said. “Back to 100 percent. Out there on the field, running around. Just ready to go. I went out there today and felt real good. Got back out there with the guys. I just tried to lock back in and get back and get back to where I was.”
McMillan hadn’t practiced since the early stages of training camp, but Head Coach Brian Flores praised McMillan for his diligence of working to get his way back onto the practice field.
"Honestly, I’ve never seen a guy work so hard to get back as hard as he’s working,” Flores said last week. “We’re getting close. But it’s not for lack of work, I’ll tell you that right now. This guy, he’s in there as long as a lot of our coaches training, lifting and trying to get himself back out on the field.”
McMillan, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, started all 16 games last season after his rookie season was spent on injured reserve because of a preseason knee injury.
He said he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to be utilized in the new defense.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” McMillan said. “I’m just trying to get my body back right and ready to go out there Sunday and play ball.”
New tackle Julien Davenport has been busy trying to learn the Dolphins offense since being acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans, though he said he got a head start thanks for a friend/former teammate.
Guard Kyle Fuller played with Davenport in Houston and gave him a heads up after the trade that brought the latter to Miami.
“I was kind of up to speed a little bit earlier than when I actually down here,” Davenport said after practice Monday. “I’ve got some of it down, continue to keep getting it, implant it in your head, that way it sticks and everything can become second nature. It’s continuous studying for me. Doing everything I can, note card, writing in a book, making sure, drawing it up, whatever I can to get it down.”
For Davenport, there is another item on his to-do list besides learning the offense, and that’s making a quick positive impression on his new teammates.
“I gotta show these guys and get that trust in me,” he said. “They haven’t seen me play, they don’t know me, it’s my first day here. So I’ve got to do everything I can to show them I can ball and show them that they can trust me out there on the field.”
The Dolphins have begun putting together their practice squad, signing five players who were with them throughout training camp.
Those five players are QB Jake Rudock, WR Isaiah Ford, DE Dewayne Hendrix, DT Durval Queiroz and DB Nik Needham.
Queiroz will not count against the NFL’s limit of 10 practice squad players because he joined the Dolphins as part of the league’s International Player Pathway Program.
Veteran long-snapper John Denney released a statement through the Twitter account of his agent, Ian Greengross, thanking the Dolphins and their fans after his run in Miami ended.
“Today, unfortunately, marks the end of my time with the Miami Dolphins,” Denney said in the statement. “I want to thank the Dolphins for giving me a chance back in 2005. Over the last 14 years, I have had many wonderful, hard-working teammates, all of whom I would like to thank. I also want to thank all of the coaches that I have worked with in Miami.
“In addition, I would like to thank some of the greatest fans in the league. You have shown men so much love since I first put on a Dolphins jersey! My family and I are grateful for the way you welcomed us into your community. Please know that your support, especially on social media, since the announcement, has been sincerely appreciated.
Denney was released Monday after playing every game — 224 in all — after making the roster as a rookie free agent back in 2005. He was the longest-tenured member of the roster.