Released from the active roster was defensive tackle Tim McGill.
Shaw was in camp with the Dolphins this summer and was among the final roster cuts. He had five tackles in five games with the Dolphins last season.
Russell played 13 games last season with the Bengals after joining the practice squad in early September. He caught only one pass but averaged 22.4 yards as Cincinnati's kickoff returner.
A former standout at Utah, Russell was drafted in the third round by Washington in 2002 but spent his rookie season on injured reserve because of a knee injury. He then played three games at the end of the 2003 season.
The Dolphins will have the roster exemption until Williams is officially activated, at which time they'll have to release a player to make room for Williams.
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Speaking of Boston, he practiced on Wednesday after his visit to the doctor on Monday revealed no significant problem with his knee.
On the flip side, linebacker Junior Seau (calf) and cornerback Eddie Jackson (hamstring) didn't take part in the team portion of practice and both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
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Tampa Bay rookie running back Carnell Williams is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
He missed last Sunday's game against the Jets because of hamstring and foot injuries.