The Miami Dolphins have shuffled their defensive line depth two days before their game against the Oakland Raiders, waiving defensive end Clifton Geathers and promoting nose tackle Chris Baker from the practice squad.
He was last promoted to the active roster in October and made his NFL debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he has been inactive for every game since.
A second-year player from Penn State and Hampton, Baker spent 2009 with the Denver Broncos and was briefly with the UFL's Hartford Colonials in September. He was originally added to the Dolphins' practice squad on Oct. 7, reuniting him with former Broncos and current Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Baker will wear No. 95 for the Dolphins if he is active against the Raiders on Sunday.
It's a bit surprising to see Baker take Geathers' roster spot, as one would have assumed he was waived to make room for defensive end Phillip Merling (non-football injury list) or wide receiver Julius Pruitt, given Brandon Marshall's injury.
Geathers could end up on the practice squad of he clears waivers, although there might not be a need for two practice squad defensive ends (Geathers and Rob Rose) if Merling can return this season.
[Update: Geathers has apparently been claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks, so he will not be returning to the Dolphins' practice squad.]
Baker's stint on the active roster may last just one week if Merling is ready in Week 13, but it seems likely Baker will at least be active this Sunday against the Raiders given how close his activation is to the game.
Primarily a nose tackle with the ability to play some 3-4 defensive end as well, Baker's playing time may actually come at the expense of Ryan Baker, who usually sees time as a rotational defensive tackle in four-man fronts.
Chris Baker was always a good prospect coming out of college and joined the Dolphins with a good knowledge of the defense from his time with Nolan in Denver, so he should be ready for playing time.
As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.
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