MIAMI GARDENS — One game with the Miami Dolphins, one interception for Jalen Ramsey.
“It felt good,” said Ramsey, who called his shot that he would have an interception in his first game back after a three-month recovery from a torn meniscus in his left knee. “I told the whole team I was going to get a pick today. I’ve been telling the whole team for a couple weeks that I was going to get a pick my first game.”
But he was also eager to take the spotlight off himself after the game.
“Don’t get it twisted. I’m happy I had an interception, but I definitely don’t want that to be the storyline. I just want to talk about how we got a good hard-fought division win. My success, it comes from the preparation that I put in and the team around me.”
Ramsey had not been targeted up until the interception, which occurred on the first play after the first half’s two-minute warning. The Dolphins offense drove down for a field goal that put them ahead, 17-7, with 26 seconds left before halftime.
“He totally disappointed me,” said Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel jokingly, noting Ramsey’s prediction wasn’t exactly accurate. “He called that he was going to come back and have a pick-six, not a pick-field goal.”
Ramsey devoted himself to finishing the job next time.
“It was a good play,” he said, “but in order for it to be a great play, in order for me to help the team out a little bit more, I should have scored. I’ve got to find a way to do that.”
Ramsey made his Dolphins debut roughly three months after he had a procedure done to repair the meniscus in his left knee. He injured it in the second practice of training camp in late July, and the initial prognosis was a December return. He beat that timeline by more than a month.
There have been back-and-forth reports on whether he had a full repair of the meniscus or a trim, which would allow for a speedier recovery, but Ramsey said Sunday it was a full repair.
Earlier Sunday, Ramsey got his helmet on a football to force a fumble on New England running back Ezekiel Elliott, but it was negated by a holding penalty called on the Patriots.
While Ramsey made his first start with Miami, he was not able to play opposite fellow All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, who was inactive for a second consecutive week as he deals with a groin injury. Howard entered Sunday questionable to play.
Ramsey was activated off injured reserve Saturday after a second week of practice since being designated to return.
The Dolphins acquired Ramsey, a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection, in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Rams.
Dolphins right guard Robert Hunt exited Sunday’s game against the Patriots with a hamstring injury in the middle of the second quarter.
Blocking downfield on a catch and run by Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, Hunt went down and was grabbing his left leg. He did not return.
Hunt was able to get up and walk gingerly to the sideline for evaluation in the team’s medical tent before proceeding into the locker room. After halftime, Hunt appeared to slam his helmet down in frustration upon receiving word he wasn’t getting sent back on the field to start the second half.
Hunt leaving the field meant the Dolphins were down to an offensive line with just one preseason projected starter, right tackle Austin Jackson.
In short order after that, left tackle Kendall Lamm, who was already playing for starter Terron Armstead while he’s on injured reserve, went down with an abdomen injury. Lamm, though, returned for the second half.
The Dolphins go into next week’s game against the Chiefs in Frankfurt, Germany with various injury concerns on the line.
“I’ll look forward to seeing whatever offensive linemen we have this next week and coming up with a game plan and watching them execute it,” McDaniel said.
Center Connor Williams was active Sunday after entering questionable with a groin injury, but he was only available for an emergency scenario. Liam Eichenberg started at center. Lester Cotton started at left guard for Isaiah Wynn, who went on IR this past week.
McDaniel said it was a “protective measure” with Williams as he was able to play but not deal with the ramifications of playing four quarters.
Once Hunt exited, Cotton moved over to right guard, and Robert Jones entered at left guard. Earlier in the first half, Cotton missed a series and Jones entered for him at left guard while Hunt was still playing. Kion Smith entered at left tackle for Lamm.
Armstead is eligible to be designated to return this week after missing the minimum four games with his placement on IR. McDaniel said the team will evaluate whether it can have him back at practice this week in Germany.
Other Dolphins inactives, aside from Howard, announced 90 minutes before kickoff were safety Jevon Holland, who was already ruled out Saturday due to concussion protocol, wide receiver Robbie Chosen, defensive tackle Brandon Pili and quarterback Skylar Thompson.
With the Dolphins in a nickel package to open Sunday’s action against the Patriots, Ramsey started on one boundary with Eli Apple on the opposite side and Kader Kohou in the slot. Justin Bethel was the team’s sixth defensive back in the dime.
Aside from Howard and Williams, the other four players that entered with questionable injury designations were available: Running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), fullback Alec Ingold (foot), cornerback Nik Needham (Achilles) and cornerback Cam Smith (foot).
Mostert was expected to be active after saying he was good to go this week. He started at running back. He had 46 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Without Holland, the Dolphins started Brandon Jones opposite DeShon Elliott, as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday.
Needham made his season debut after tearing his Achilles in October 2022. He was in on special teams, on punt coverage and punt return units.
The Patriots ruled out tackle Calvin Anderson on Friday and outside linebacker Josh Uche and tackle Vederian Lowe on Saturday. Added to their inactives Sunday were wide receivers Tyquan Thornton and Kayshon Boutte and quarterback Will Grier, who is available as an emergency third quarterback. In-game, they had injuries to linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley and wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker, a former Dolphin.