DAVIE - Change is coming to the Miami Dolphins roster this week.
The Dolphins released defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui and safety D.J. Campbell on Monday evening, creating two vacancies on the team's 53-man roster.
It is possible Aaitui and Campbell, who were both promoted up from the practice squad earlier this season, could return to Miami's developmental unit. Both players would need to clear waivers on Tuesday before returning to the team.
Aaitui played in four games and contributed three tackles this season. He was inactive for Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Panthers.
Campbell was one of five safeties on the team's 53-man roster. When Chris Clemons suffered an injury late in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's game Campbell replaced him as the Dolphins free safety because Jimmy Wilson was manning the nickel spot.
What General Manager Jeff Ireland plans to do with the two roster vacancies could have a lot to do with the ankle injury Daniel Thomas suffered on Sunday.
Thomas tore a ligament in his left ankle against the Panthers, but the Dolphins won't immediately place him on injured reserve. The initial plan is to immobilize Thomas ankle for two to three weeks and see how the team's backup tailback responds to rehab. The hope is he'll be able to return to the team by mid-December.
Until then Miami will likely lean heavily on Lamar Miller, and elevate rookie tailback Mike Gillislee, putting the team's fifth-round pick in the playing rotation. However, that would mean the Dolphins need to find another scout team tailback.
The Dolphins could also use reinforcement on the offensive line considering that struggling unit is playing without offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team in late October because of claims the Dolphins created a hostile work environment, and starting left guard Richie Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely because of allegations he bullied Martin.
Making matters worse is the fact Sam Brenner, the former practice squad player who has started the past two games at left guard because of Mike Pouncey's illness, suffered a knee injury against the Panthers. Brenner did finish the game playing with a brace, but his status for Sunday's game against the Jets is unknown.
Pouncey, the Dolphins' starting center, has missed the past two games because of a stomach illness, but he's expected back at practice this week unless there are further complications.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun