- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE, Fla. -- A big smile was back on the face of Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake on Monday.
That is good news for the Miami Dolphins and probably bad news for opponents.
Wake, Miami's best pass-rusher, participated fully in individual and team drills Monday following the Dolphins’ return from the bye. Wake was bothered by a knee sprain that kept him out of the Sept. 30 game against New Orleans and limited him to just one series Oct. 6 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The week off clearly did a lot of good for Wake. He looked as healthy as he's been in a while during the portion of practice open to the media.
“At defensive end, you have to do a lot of torque, a lot of twisting, a lot of fast-twitching going on,” Wake said. “Obviously your knee is a big part of that. ... You have to do what you can to get it back. To me, playing the game at 100 percent is [best]."
Wake was back to his normal self again in the locker room. During his injury Wake was tight-lipped, which has been the culture in Miami under second-year coach Joe Philbin. Now that Wake is healthy, he was open and jovial with the media again.
The Dolphins’ defense also got another welcomed site Monday when former starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson returned to practice. He missed the past four games with a groin injury. Patterson spent weeks working with Miami’s training staff to get back on the practice field.
Miami is 26th against the pass and certainly could use Patterson’s veteran presence and leadership.
“I took advantage of the bye week,” Patterson said. “I felt pretty good last Friday and I wanted to come out here [Monday] and get some things done. Obviously, I’m just going to take it slow and keep building. I felt good.”
Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle joked with Patterson upon his return his practice.
“I asked him today if he knew how to put his pads back on or did somebody have to teach him,” Coyle said. “It’s seems like it’s been a long time since he’s been out here with us. But he has stayed up with everything mentally. He’s a sharp guy that way. He’s anxious to get back and start to participate again. I think it’s been hard on him not being able to do that. But yet he certainly will provide a big boost if we can get him back in the lineup as quickly as we can.”