Opportunity knocks once again for Dolphins' Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray rushed for 201 yards against the Colts last season while with New England. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins running back Jonas Gray had an interesting perspective on being placed on the team's 53-man roster and practice squad four times in the past two weeks.

"It just means I'm well-liked," Gray said with a laugh on Wednesday.

But this week marks Gray's best opportunity to date to make an impact with the Dolphins. He was promoted again to the 53-man roster following Miami’s early season struggles running the ball and an ankle injury to starter Lamar Miller, who didn't practice on Wednesday.

Gray could get his first carries of the season this weekend against the Buffalo Bills (1-1). Miami (1-1) certainly is in need of a spark. The Dolphins are ranked 30th in the NFL at 116 yards per game and average just 3.4 yards per carry.

The two-year veteran had a roller-coaster stint with the New England Patriots in 2014. He rushed for a career-high 201 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, but overslept and was late for practice the following week. Gray spent the rest of the season in Patriots coach Bill Belichick's doghouse.

Gray said last season's alarm-clock story is something that has followed him throughout the past year. He said Wednesday that he uses "multiple" alarms now to wake up in the morning and is usually one of the first players at Miami's facility.

"Especially when you have a little bit of success, some things are going to define you and some things people are going to remember all the time about you," Gray explained. "The best thing you can do going forward is learn from it and try to be a better pro."

Gray also recently changed his number from 29 to 38 with the Dolphins in another attempt to shed what happened last season.

"I just thought it was time for a change -- image reform kind of thing," Gray said with a smile. "I just thought I needed it. I like 29 better than 38."

Gray plans to make the most of his opportunities Sunday. If Gray plays well against a stout Bills run defense, which is ranked No. 2 in the NFL, he could find a permanent home on Miami's active roster.

"I’m hopeful, man," Gray said. "I hope I get my opportunity and show them what I can do. Then I have a chance to be on the active roster for an entire season. But, again, you never know in this business. I’m not the one who makes those decisions. I can only control what I can change."