Brent Grimes completes long road back

DAVIE, Fla. -- For new Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, September 9, 2012 carries significance. That was the last time Grimes played in an NFL game.

Grimes tore his Achilles in the regular-season opener with the Atlanta Falcons last year. His long road back to the field will be complete when Grimes plays for Miami Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game.

Grimes will only play in a series or two with Miami's starting defense. But that doesn’t make Sunday's comeback any less significant after nearly a year on the shelf.

“Yeah, it’s cool because I was out and missed all of last year,” Grimes said. “I’ve been doing this (practice) but it’s not the same as actually going in a game. So it’s going to be fun, even though it’s going to be brief probably.”

Grimes, who signed a one-year, $5 million contract with Miami, has been one of the most consistent performers in Dolphins' training camp. Grimes is athletic, consistently around the football and projected to be Miami’s top cornerback in the regular season.

Miami’s pass defense was ranked 27th last year and very inconsistent. The Dolphins are counting on Grimes to stay healthy and add stability to this unit. Grimes has looked 100 percent in camp and has not had any setbacks with his Achilles injury.

“I’m feeling real good,” Grimes explained. “Any time you come into training camp, it’s about getting your timing down and getting back into football [shape]. You can run all offseason, but when you put the helmet and pads on, it’s a whole different kind of shape. I think I’m in a good spot right now.”

Grimes is expected to defend Miami’s best opposing receivers this year. The Cowboys have two good receivers coming to Canton, Ohio, this weekend in Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.