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Former Navy football standout Malcolm Perry catches a pass in NFL debut for Miami Dolphins against Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins watches as running back Malcolm Perry (10) catches the ball during practice at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, on Sept. 8. Perry will make his NFL debut today.
Miami Dolphins watches as running back Malcolm Perry (10) catches the ball during practice at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, on Sept. 8. Perry will make his NFL debut today. (Susan Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Former Navy standout Malcolm Perry caught a 10-yard pass and took two snaps at quarterback in his NFL debut as a running back/wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins today against the Los Angeles Rams.

Perry, who started the game at wide receiver, got on the stat sheet with a 10-yard reception from fellow Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with 10:28 left in the third quarter. Perry then lined up at quarterback in the wildcat formation the next two plays, first handing off to Matt Breida for a 3-yard gain and then keeping the ball and losing 5 yards while being tackled by Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, a former two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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The Dolphins upset the Rams, 28-17, thanks in part to getting a touchdown from their defense and special teams. Perry was one of eight Miami players to catch a pass on the day.

Perry, who set a Football Bowl Subdivision record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 2,017 and scored 21 touchdowns last year for the Mids, was drafted in the seventh round by the Dolphins but has not been active on game days until today.

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Perry excelled as both a slotback and quarterback in Navy’s triple-option offense while amassing 4,359 rushing yards, second all-time behind Keenan Reynolds. He also finished with 40 rushing touchdowns.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster became the fourth Navy player from the current triple-option era (2002 to present) to play in an NFL regular-season game, joining Joe Cardona (Class of 2015), fullback Kyle Eckel (Class of 2005) and Reynolds (Class of 2016).

Perry made a strong impression mostly as a slot receiver during training camp alongside first-round draft pick Tagovailoa, who was named the starting quarterback for the Dolphins last week and also made his first career start.

“Malcolm is an interesting guy, having played quarterback in the option and he’s got some good quickness. He’s got a feel for the game,” Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said in an interview with The Capital in August. “He’s played tag growing up. He knows how to make people miss and make them get out of the way.”

In an August interview, Perry admitted playing slot receiver during a live NFL practice is completely different from working out at that position during the NFL Combine or during practices for the East-West Shrine Bowl.

“Just like I said, the attention to detail. Seeing things after the ball is snapped, getting in the right spot and making sure I’m where I need to be to make the play successful,” he said. “It’s just the little things right now. I’m trying to learn every day and learn from my mistakes and get better the next day.”

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