Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) celebrates with linebackers coach...

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) celebrates with linebackers coach Anthony Campanile after intercepting a New York Jets pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: AP/David Santiago

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins are placing starting linebacker Jerome Baker on injured reserve with a knee injury, coach Mike McDaniel said Saturday.

Baker injured his left knee in the second quarter of last week's win over the Washington Commanders when teammate Brandon Jones took his legs out from under him while trying to tackle Washington’s Curtis Samuel.

McDaniel said after the game it didn't seem like a season-ending injury. But the team ultimately decided to put the sixth-year linebacker on injured reserve because of varying factors, including the expected timeline for Baker's return and Miami's need for a roster spot.

“It was right on the fringe of yes or no with it,” McDaniel said Saturday. “And our starting point at that point in time was ‘We didn’t need to do it.' But things change every day, which is why I don't stamp anything that's not known.”

Baker is second on the team with 47 solo tackles and had 1 1/2 sacks and two interceptions. He could possibly return for Miami's regular-season finale against Buffalo.

With Baker out, Duke Riley is expected to start in his place alongside David Long Jr.

Miami has one more spot to designated a player to return from injured reserve with several players now on IR. McDaniel didn't say whether the team would hold that spot for Baker.

“That would be like me accessing the crystal ball,” he said. “That very well could be the outcome, but you're hesitant with the way the season goes, the roster needs, and him and his recovery. You just want to temper that a little bit.”

The Dolphins also ruled out starting right guard Rob Hunt with a hamstring injury ahead of Monday night's game against the Tennessee Titans. Hunt injured the hamstring in Week 8 against New England and aggravated it against Washington.

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