Dolphins CB Jalen Ramsey reportedly returning to practice ahead of schedule

Bad news for the AFC East (and the entire NFL, actually): The Miami Dolphins are about to get even stronger.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who has been out since late July with a knee injury, is reportedly returning to the team Wednesday, when his 21-day practice window officially opens.

Ramsey returning in October is very unexpected, to the point that no one even thought it was a possibility. He needed surgery on his knee after injuring it while guarding teammate Tyreek Hill on just the second day of training camp. He was reportedly expected to return to the field in December, just in time to help the Dolphins in the home stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.

But Ramsey's early return means he'll be able to suit up for games in November, which will give the Dolphins' defense (which is currently 26th in points allowed and 23rd in yards surrendered) a boost. Kader Kohou, who has been filling in for Ramsey, will be able to move back to his natural position as a nickel cornerback on passing downs, meaning that the struggling Eli Apple can be removed from the equation entirely.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JUNE 06: Jalen Ramsey #5 of the Miami Dolphins speaks to the media after practice at Baptist Health Training Complex on June 06, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey was supposed to be out until December with a knee injury, but he's reportedly ready to start practicing nearly two months ahead of schedule. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Ramsey, 28, has yet to take a snap for the Dolphins after joining them via trade in the offseason. He was a key part of the Los Angeles Rams' victory at Super Bowl LVI, but the team's awful showing the following season allowed Miami to acquire him for a song. Tight end Hunter Long and a 2023 third-round draft pick was all the Dolphins had to give up to get a six-time Pro Bowler.

If Ramsey's practice window does open Wednesday, the Dolphins have 21 days to elevate him to the active roster, which would be Week 10 if they decided to use the full 21 days. The Dolphins do have a bye that week, so Ramsey's first appearance in a Fins uniform could come in Week 11, when they face the Las Vegas Raiders.