DAVIE, Florida — Center Mike Pouncey has convinced the Miami Dolphins that he will be ready to play sooner than later.
Pouncey will open the season on Miami's 53-man roster and not on the physically unable to perform list, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced any of its roster decisions on final-cut day around the NFL.
Pouncey, a Pro Bowl selection last season, has been working his way back from hip surgery. He was seen at practice last week working out off to the side, and has not yet been involved in any full-fledged workouts.
It's unclear when he will be able to fully return. But if Pouncey was placed on the PUP list, he would have been ineligible for Miami's first six games. By putting him on the 53-man roster now, the Dolphins can use him earlier if he's cleared and deemed ready to play again.
The Dolphins will have five new offensive line starters for their Sept. 7 opener against New England. Pouncey has appeared in 46 of 48 games since joining the Dolphins in 2011 and, according to STATS, he was one of three offensive linemen to be on the field for at least 900 snaps last season.