News & Analysis

Dolphins S T.J. McDonald set to return from suspension

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 01: T.J. McDonald #25 of the Los Angeles Rams reacts to an interception chance during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Miami Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald was moved to the active roster this week, having served his eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase expects McDonald “to be out there ready to go” this Sunday, adding that he has “been chomping at the bit for a while now.”
  • McDonald spent his first four years in the NFL with the Rams and was a starter from the first game of his rookie season. His best year came in 2014 where he played 1,078 snaps, earning a season grade of 77.6. He ranked first among all safeties that year with a whopping 47 defensive stops, 10 more than his closest rival. The only safety to have bettered that mark in the entire PFF era (since 2006) is fellow Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, who racked up 51 defensive stops in 2015.
  • McDonald’s return comes at an ideal time for the Dolphins, with starting safety Nate Allen having been placed on IR a week ago. Allen had struggled as a starter this year, ranking 80th out of 84 qualifying safeties with a season grade of just 40.2.
  • Michael Thomas had been serving as Allen’s replacement and played well in his first significant action of the year against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, posting a game grade of 86.9. However, Miami’s Sunday night encounter with the Oakland Raiders in Week 9 saw him struggle, earning a grade of only 56.3 in a 27-24 loss.

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