Just 13 months after a major knee injury ended his 2009 season with the Green Bay Packers, cornerback Al Harris has been placed on injured reserve by the Miami Dolphins.
Signed on Nov. 10 shortly after his release from the Packers' PUP list, Harris appeared in three games for the Dolphins before missing this past week's game against the Browns with a hamstring injury.
Harris' season ends after just three games with the Dolphins in which he recorded a total of three tackles—one each against the Titans, Bears, and Raiders.
Second-year guard Ray Feinga has been promoted from the practice squad to take Harris' place on the roster. Feinga previously had a stint on the active roster in early October between games, but was later waived and served a four-game suspension from the NFL as a free agent.
The Dolphins also released linebacker J. D. Folsom from the practice squad (who was re-signed last week) and signed wide receiver Patrick Carter to the practice squad. There remains one spot open on the practice squad.
The younger brother of former NFL wide receiver Tim Carter, former high school quarterback Patrick Carter originally attended Georgia Tech for one year before sitting out the 2005 season while transferring to Louisville.
While also a member of the Cardinals' track team, Carter played two seasons for the football program and capped off his collegiate career with 26 catches for 396 yards and five touchdowns in 2007. He was the team's fourth-most productive receiver behind three future NFL draft picks in wide receivers Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia, and tight end Gary Barnidge.
Unselected in the 2009 NFL Draft, Carter signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. He failed to catch a pass in the preseason due to a shoulder injury and was waived on Aug. 30.
Carter played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 preseason and caught eight passes for 88 yards, but was once against waived during final cuts. He was re-signed to the team's practice squad before being released on October.
After signing to the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad late in the 2009 season, Carter was re-signed to a future contract with the team in the 2010 offseason. He was waived in June and signed by the Denver Broncos, who waived him on Aug. 23.
Carter played for the UFL's Hartford Colonials during the 2010 regular season, going 3-5 and failing to make the playoffs with their season ending on Nov. 20.
Because Carter was signed to the practice squad and not the active roster, the Dolphins do not have the pay the UFL's transfer free, which was recently lowered from $150,000 to $25,000. He will wear No. 17 for the Dolphins.
While Al Harris probably didn't have a significant injury, the Dolphins obviously felt they'd seen enough of him in three games to determine they could go on without him at this point in the season.
Harris saw immediate action on defense when he was signed, but he will now be replaced by intriguing rookie fifth-rounder Nolan Carroll and preseason star Nate Ness.
Feinga's promotion is not surprising either, as the team obviously likes the guy a given that he's been promoted once before this season and remains with the team despite a training camp car wreck, a few preseason injuries, and a four-game suspension.
With Vernon Carey ill and constantly dinged up, guard John Jerry is working at right tackle while Pat McQuistan is at Jerry's old right guard spot this week in practice. Feinga will provide more guard depth for now, but it honestly would not surprise me to see him get some playing given the overall poor play by the offensive line in 2010.
Predictably, J. D. Folsom's latest practice squad stint lasted only as long as it took Channing Crowder to return to practice. Folsom was merely a practice body familiar with the defensive scheme, but has no upside as a 3-4 linebacker.
An intriguing prospect with good size (6-3, 215) and 4.4 speed, Carter has some background as a quarterback and ran track throughout his high school and college days. Of course, he has bounced around for league for three years now with no stints on an NFL active roster, so his upside should be considered limited.
Carter will provide practice depth with Brandon Marshall (hamstring) still not 100% and Brian Hartline day-to-day after undergoing hand surgery from an injury against the Browns.
The Dolphins are significantly hurting for receivers right now, and undrafted rookies Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore really need to step it up if the offensive is going to be productive.
Second-year receiver Julius Pruitt is a strong candidate to get called up from the practice squad if the Dolphins want more receiver depth for this Sunday's game against the Jets. The Ouachita Baptist alum traveled with the team to Oakland for emergency depth, but was not activated.
As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.