Former CFL Most Outstanding Rookie Nate Holley activated by Miami Dolphins for Week 14

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

Former CFL linebacker Nate Holley has been elevated to the active roster as a COVID-19 replacement for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Week 13 saw Holley make his NFL debut as a defensive back in a 19-7 win versus the Bengals. He played special teams but did not register a statistic.

Holley worked out and signed with the Dolphins in August and was on the practice roster. The six-foot, 210-pounder is listed as a safety for Miami.

The 26-year-old Holley played in all 18 games last year for the Calgary Stampeders when he notched 78 defensive tackles, 22 special team tackles, one sack and one interception. For his efforts, Holley was named the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2019.

The CFL Players’ Association filed a grievance with the league in February over Holley’s lack of ability to pursue NFL interest following one season in the CFL. After the 2020 season was cancelled in Canada, the Stamps finally allowed Holley to seek employment south of the border.

During four seasons at Kent State University, Holley played in 43 games recording 424 tackles, defended seven passes, notched three sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered two more and grabbed one interception. He was named first-team all-Mid-American Conference (MAC) in 2014 and 2015.

After going unselected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Holley signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings, but did not make the final roster. In June of 2018, he inked a deal with the Los Angeles Rams, although Holley was waived at the end of training camp.

Holley’s next test comes against the defending Super Bowl champions.