It took the Miami Dolphins a full month to begin churning the bottom of the 53-man roster.
A day after Miami's 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints the Dolphins (3-1) have released safety Kelcie McCray and fullback Tyler Clutts, creating two openings on the 53-man roster.
McCray was an undrafted player from Arkansas State who spent his first NFL season on Miami's injured reserve because of a broken foot he suffered in training camp of 2012. The Dolphins expected McCray to blossom in training camp this summer, but he struggled to make much of an impact in the exhibition season, and on special teams during the first four games.
The emergence of Don Jones, a 2013 seventh-round pick, makes McCray expendable, and it is possible the Dolphins will promote former Michigan standout, Jordan Kovacs, a safety, from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
Kovacs has been working with the special teams base unit during practice for weeks, and he traveled with the Dolphins to New Orleans last week.
Clutts was claimed off the waiver wire a month ago, but the Dolphins haven't found much use for the traditional fullback, who replaced Jorvorskie Lane. Clutts sparingly played in the season's first four games, and when in need of a fullback the Dolphins have typically called on H-back Charles Clay.
How the Dolphins will use the two roster spots is unclear at this point, but injuries to safety Chris Clemons (hamstring), defensive end Cameron Wake (left knee), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin) and the linebacker unit could force management's hand. The Dolphins need defensive reinforcements because of the injuries, and special teams contributors.
General Manager Jeff Ireland typically churns the bottom five spots on the 53-man roster all season, continuing to reassess the roster throughout the season. Last week the Dolphins added defensive tackle Marvin Austin, but his signing was injury related, forced by Vaughn Martin's season ending injury.
The Dolphins typically workout a handful of players each week, at various positions, and it is possible Miami has claimed a player off another team's practice squad.