Dolphins designate rookie running back De'Von Achane to return from injured reserve

FILE - Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) plays against the New England Patriots during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. Miami rookie running back De’Von Achane returned to practice Monday, Nov. 13, after missing the past four games with a knee injury.(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami rookie running back De'Von Achane returned to practice Monday after missing the past four games with a knee injury, opening his 21-day window to be activated from injured reserve.

Achane hasn't played since hurting his knee late in a Week 5 win over the New York Giants.

Coach Mike McDaniel said Achane didn't tear anything in his knee; it was more of a sprain that could have been managed with a brace, but the team thought it was best to place him on injured reserve to allow it to heal fully.

“I just didn’t really envision him being one that would really flourish with a brace," McDaniel said Monday.

“We took the time to make sure that we could get structurally completely strong. We erred on the side of caution with that, but everything seems to be ready to go for today’s practice.”

McDaniel did not say if Achane will play when the Dolphins host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Miami (6-3) is coming off a bye week and is currently first in the AFC East.

Achane, whom the Dolphins drafted in the third round this year, was leading the NFL with 12.1 yards per carry before the injury. He rushed for 460 yards with seven total touchdowns in four games.

Achane had a breakout game in Week 3 against Denver after being a healthy scratch in the season opener and getting only one carry for 5 yards the next week. The former Texas A&M running back led the team with 203 total yards on 18 carries, 11.3 yards per rush and four touchdowns in Miami’s 70-20 win over Denver, and he immediately earned a larger role in the Dolphins’ then-No.1-ranked rushing offense.

Miami's rushing production has dropped off slightly in the past four games. The Dolphins entered Week 5 averaging 185.8 yards per game but have rushed for 100.5 yards per game since Achane's injury. They've failed to reach 100 yards twice in the past four games.

Raheem Mostert leads the team with 605 yards rushing and has a league-high 11 rushing touchdowns.

NOTES: Injured offensive linemen Rob Hunt (hamstring) and Rob Jones (knee) are both week to week but had a good week of rehab, McDaniel said. The team wants to see how both respond in practice this week. ... Kendall Lamm, Miami's versatile lineman who has filled in at tackle, will take some practice reps at guard, though McDaniel doesn't expect him to switch to the position anytime soon.