Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins’ R.J. Stanford goes from not playing to starter

Dolphins cornerback R.J. Stanford breaks up a pass to Jets receiver Eric Decker.
Dolphins cornerback R.J. Stanford breaks up a pass to Jets receiver Eric Decker. HERALD STAFF

A week ago Monday, R.J. Stanford was out of the league.

This Monday, he was a critical part of the Dolphins’ defense.

Stanford was the Dolphins cornerback opposite Brent Grimes for much of the Jets game, standing in for the injured Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor — both of whom were inactive Monday night.

Although Jimmy Wilson started at right cornerback, Stanford hustled onto the field on the game’s second play — and remained there for much of the night.

Granted, he didn’t have to do a whole lot of covering early on. The Jets threw the ball just six times in a fast-moving first half. (They controlled the ball for 17:38 through two quarters.)

But with the Jets going run-heavy early, the Dolphins at times turned to rookie Walt Aikens, a safety for most of the season, at the other corner spot. No matter who the Dolphins used, they couldn’t stop the run. The Jets ran for an astonishing 210 yards in the first half. The Dolphins had just 15.

HARTLINE INJURED

Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline’s frustrating sixth NFL season hit another pothole. He sustained a knee injury early in the game and did not return.

Hartline caught one pass for 9 yards before the injury.

On the season, Hartline has just 32 catches for 369 yards and one touchdown. That puts him on pace for 43 catches for 492 yards. His career low in receiving yards is 506 yards, set his rookie season.

STURGIS’ WOES

Caleb Sturgis’ inconsistency from long range continued. The Dolphins’ second-year kicker hooked a 43-yard field goal wide left in the first quarter.

He did connect from the same length on the last play of the first half, and hit a 44-yarder on the first drive of the second half.

But he followed up that second kick by sending the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Jets the ball at their 40.

Injury update

The other Dolphins inactives Monday: Taylor, Finnegan, running back LaMichael James, tight end Charles Clay, linebacker Jonathan Freeny, offensive lineman Nate Garner and guard Billy Turner.

This and that

▪ Four busloads of Dolphins fans from the New York area gathered pregame and then attended Monday night’s game.

▪ U2 (sans Bono), Bruce Springsteen and others performed in Times Square during ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. The concert benefited World AIDS Day.

▪ The Jets inducted past owner Leon Hess and retired wide receiver Wayne Chrebet into their Ring of Honor on Monday night. It was alumni night, with one-time Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington on hand — in a Jets jersey.

▪ John Rzeznik, the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, sang the National Anthem.

▪ Dolphins defensive back Don Jones, claimed just a few days before the game, ran down on the opening kickoff and made the tackle.

▪ Shelley Smith rotated in for Daryn Colledge at left guard late in the first half, but Colledge was in the lineup to start the second half.

▪ Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught six passes in the first half, the second time he’s done that this year (Oct.9 at Detroit).

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