DAVIE — Dolphins linebacker Rey Maualuga is back healthy again, and if you want to know how much he’s itching to get back on the field, consider that his last game was on New Year’s Day.
The last time he went nine months without playing a game was before he took up the sport in the sixth grade.
“I’ve been removed from the game for a while,” he said Wednesday. “You try to live through others sometimes when you’re not out there on the field.”
But he has had enough with mental reps and is eager for actual ones. Maualuga signed as a free agent Aug. 19 but wasn’t cleared to participate in a full practice until this week. He had been getting in shape and nursing a sore hamstring.
“It doesn’t hurt at all,” Maualuga said of the hamstring. “I’m clear. I practiced together with the team. I think I did pretty well, but at the end of the day, it’s not my decision.”
After being painfully thin at linebacker when Lawrence Timmons went AWOL in California, the Dolphins are getting close to full strength. Mike Hull was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a sore shoulder, but Timmons made an impact in his Dolphins debut last weekend and now Maualuga has entered the mix.
“There’s a difference between practicing and playing in an actual game,” he said. “And obviously that will determine how your actual wind is. … I think I’m ready.”
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