The last time Robert Nkemdiche made headlines, he was struggling to run basic warmup drills.
On Tuesday, the Dolphins gave up on Nkemdiche’s upside, releasing the former first-round pick after he played just two games in Miami.
The team announced the news alongside placing wide receiver Preston Williams on injured reserve, signaling an end to the season for one of the few bright spots in Miami.
Nkemdiche joined Dolphins after release in Arizona
The Dolphins signed Nkemdiche in August after the Arizona Cardinals released him after he showed up to training camp out of shape.
The Cardinals selected the defensive tackle out of Mississippi with the 29th pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He played 27 games over three injury-wracked seasons, with a torn ACL last December signaling the beginning of the end of his time in Arizona.
He tallied 4.5 sacks and 44 total tackles with the Cardinals.
Nkemdiche played 2 games for Dolphins
The Dolphins placed him on the active/PUP list after signing him to give him time to further work into game shape. In August, he reportedly failed to run across the width of the field and back during a warmup prior to a preseason game.
Nkemdiche made his debut for Miami in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and played again Sunday against the New York Jets. He failed to record a defensive statistic and played just three snaps against New York after playing 15 against Pittsburgh.
Nkemdiche, 25, will presumably now look to another team to take a chance on him after failed opportunities with two teams.
Tough blow for breakout rookie
Williams, an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State, was in the midst of a breakout campaign with 428 yards and three touchdowns in eight games as Miami’s top receiver.
He suffered an ACL tear during a punt return on Sunday against the Jets. Tuesday’s injured reserve designation was a formality after the revelation of the injury on Monday.
“It's a big loss for us,” head coach Brian Flores said Monday, per ESPN. “I talked to him this morning. He's done an incredible job. He came to us as a free agent and has really grown over the last six months, seven months. I was devastated for the kid.”
ESPN reports that the Dolphins hope to have Williams back for the 2020 season.
The Dolphins also announced that they signed cornerback Marcus Sherels and running back De’Lance Turner in corresponding moves.
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