Isaako Aaitui suited up and played Sunday, completing a comeback story a year in the making.
Aaitui, a defensive tackle, was with the Dolphins in training camp last year, and was a featured player on “Hard Knocks.” Miami cut him late in the preseason, allowing the Jets to claim him.
However, Aaitui tore multiple ligaments in his knee in his first week in New York, and was consequently released. He made a full recovery, and was in training camp with the Saints this year, only to be waived before the season started.
The Dolphins brought him back to Miami as a member of their practice squad, then activated him Saturday to fill the roster spot created by the release of Marvin Austin.
While he played from scrimmage Sunday, Aaitui was not credited with a tackle.
Cameron Wake’s re-entry into the Dolphins’ defensive line rotation has been gradual.
After playing just three snaps in the past month with a knee injury, Wake was a situational player against the Bills, working mostly in passing situations. He had a tackle for loss Sunday
“He was healthy, but sometimes it’s hard to go from zero to 70 right away,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “We wanted to monitor his progress and felt that was the best course of action.”
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was a scratch as expected. He has been dealing with a shoulder issue. Other Dolphins inactives were QB Pat Devlin, RB Mike Gillislee, CB Will Davis, LB Josh Kaddu, G Danny Watkins and G Dallas Thomas.
Patterson is back
Like Wake, Dimitri Patterson made a long-awaited return Sunday. The Dolphins’ corner played for the first time since injuring his groin in the season opener.
Patterson had three tackles and one of the Dolphins’ four sacks.
“I was just happy to put a helmet on honestly and move around,” Patterson said. “I still really didn’t know where I was from a game-speed standpoint, but I was able to go out there and cover some guys. I’m just happy I came out of that game healthy”
This and that• The Dolphins were out of timeouts late in regulation and the Bills were close enough that a field goal was all but assured. But Philbin said he didn’t consider letting Buffalo score a touchdown so his offense would have more time to mount a comeback.
• Running back Daniel Thomas started and saw extensive snaps Sunday, getting more carries (12 for 60 yards) than Lamar Miller (nine for 43).
Said Philbin: “We wanted to have balance between the two guys. We thought he was running the ball well and hard so we just wanted to keep those guys fresh.”• Richie Incognito, Randy Starks and Jason Trusnik served as the Dolphins’ captains.
• Sunday’s paid attendance: 60,592.