On the active/non-football injury list since training camp began, Miami Dolphins rookie guard Garrett Chisolm passed his physical Monday and will be able to participate in practice and games moving forward.
Chisolm, who was signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent after the lockout lifted in July, had not practiced with the team while he recovered from a torn ACL suffered near the end of his senior season at South Carolina.
Wearing No. 60, Chisolm will have less than a week to impress the coaches before final cuts on Sept. 3 in hopes of landing a spot on the active roster or practice squad. It is unknown if Chisolm will play in the Dolphins' preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys Thursday.
It should be noted that Chisolm's activation does not create a spot on the Dolphins' active roster, as players on the Active/NFI or Active/PUP lists count toward the active roster throughout their time on the list. The Dolphins' active roster remains at 82 players, meaning they must release two players by Tuesday's deadline.
In other news, inside linebacker Mike Rivera, who was waived/injured Saturday, has cleared waivers and reverted to injured reserve. Expect him to be let go with an injury settlement in the coming days.
I had initially expect the Dolphins to "stash" Chisolm on the Reserve/NFI list all season, but it seems Chisolm is close to or fully recovered from his torn ACL and has a chance to play as a rookie in 2011.
It's hard not to root for a guy like Chisolm, who didn't start playing Division I football until his junior season in 2009. His hard work ethic has been highly praised in the past, and he dealt with the passing of both his parents from cancer during a span of nine months last year.
Chisolm is a raw player, but he has excellent natural strength and good size for a guard at 6'5" and 312 pounds. He excelled during his two-year stint with the Gamecocks and certainly has the talent and potential to develop as an NFL backup at the very least.
Likely to play his college position of left guard for the Dolphins, Chisolm joins a crowded position primarily featuring Ray Feinga and Matt Kopa competing for a backup job behind starter Richie Incognito.
Because he's just now getting healthy and hasn't even practiced yet, Chisolm has to be considered a long shot to make the active roster to begin the season. More likely, he'll hope to impress the coaching staff to the point where they'll give him a spot on the eight-man practice squad.
Considering what he's had to endure to get to this point and how quickly he was able to adapt to the SEC game, I for one would like to see what he can do with some time to develop in Miami.
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 currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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