Vince Biegel took a detour to land back on the Miami Dolphins’ active list this week ahead of Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers.
After missing out on the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles, the outside linebacker, who contributed significantly in 2019, suffered a calf injury in training camp. He was released with an injury settlement in early September, freeing him to join another team.
But Biegel found himself signing up for a spot back on the Dolphins’ training team in October and was activated for two games this season. With another outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett placed on injured reserve after Sunday’s win over the New York Jets, Biegel was the obvious choice to replace him on the team’s 53-man roster.
“I think the game of football is a journey, and sometimes the gift is the match,” Biegel said on Wednesday. “It’s been quite a journey this year and I did not want it any different. I’m just grateful to be back with a great organization like the Dolphins and help this team come out and win ball games. ”
Biegel was originally placed on injured reserve in August, which would have ended his season before it began if he had stayed on IR with the Dolphins, but being released with the pre-season injury scheme made him available to return when he was clear. The only problem was that he was so free to sign a contract with another team.
Biegel received interest from other teams, but he always had the idea of returning to the Dolphins. When he came back to find all his same equipment in his closet that he left behind, he was convinced that the team actually never cleaned it out.
“I have a good relationship with [coach Brian Flores] and a good relationship with this team – honestly, it’s not just talk, “said Biegel. “I really want to come back here and I really love this team. My family loves it here in Miami.
“I’m just excited to get back, get past the injuries and finally be able to get out there and play football again and be able to help this team win and be able to play with guys like f. ex. [Andrew] Van Ginkel, Jaelen Phillips and be able to bring energy to the defense, special teams and on the team. ”
Biegel said he is fully recovered from the calf injury before the season and the 2020 Achilles tendon tear.
“Both are 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’ve been running around here now for the last six weeks, bringing the juice to special teams, bringing the juice to the scout team’s defense.”
Biegel started 10 out of 15 games played for Miami in 2019 after being acquired from the New Orleans Saints in a barter deal with former linebacker Kiko Alonso. He produced 59 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, a team-leading 13 quarterback hits and an interception that year, Flores’ first with the Dolphins.
“It’s the same type of system, right?” said Biegel. “It’s not too different from what we had in 2019, so there are a lot of parallels, a lot of similarities. It’s still the Miami Dolphins’ defense.”
The Dolphins used the maximum two cases where a training team player can be elevated to a game day list without being signed on the 53-man list (October 31 vs. Bills, November 7 vs. Texans). He did not play in Buffalo and saw three specialty team snaps against the Texans.
Aside from cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones returning to full participation after a veteran rest day on Wednesday, the biggest change in the Dolphins’ injury report on Thursday was that cornerback Trill Williams (hoarding) was downgraded from restricted to not participating.
Dolphins tight-end Adam Shaheen and defensive back Elijah Campbell were still non-participants on Thursday after also missing Wednesday practice.
Safety Jevon Holland (knee / ankle) and Brandon Jones (ankle / elbow), linebacker Elandon Roberts (hip), defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (quadriceps) and cornerback Trill Williams (hamstring) remained limited on Thursday.
Still listed as full participants were linebacker Jerome Baker (knee), guard Robert Jones (wrist), safety Eric Rowe (hip) and wide receiver Preston Williams (knee).
The Panthers got guard John Miller (ankle) to go from limited to missing their Thursday session. Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (knee), safety Myles Hartsfield (wrist) and guard Dennis Daley (glute) were all full participants.