The Miami Dolphins went from having one running back on the active roster to a full unit but what will they have others back for Sunday?
Miami was able to activate Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed off the COVID protocol list on Friday. They added Duke Johnson from the practice squad earlier in the week. Only Phillip Lindsay and Gerrid Doaks remain on the COVID list from that unit.
That isn’t the case for Jaylen Waddle or Jevon Holland. The two stellar rookies are likely going to miss the game on Sunday against the Jets because they have not been cleared to play.
In the case of Gaskin and Ahmed, both were placed on the list last week which gave them plenty of time to get cleared. Both Waddle and Holland were added earlier this week and even with the new NFL rules allowing for player returns within 24 hours of a positive test provided they have two negative tests is not looking good.
You could argue that Waddle will be missed more but in reality, it might be the other way around if this were against anyone else. The Jets offense isn’t very good and they will be missing several players as well. We will get to that in a minute.
Waddle is on pace to shatter the NFL receptions record for a rookie and missing this game might hurt that chance but if we think about it, the record of 101 was set by Anquan Boldin in 2003. That is within Waddles reach who has more than 80 receptions now.
Back to the Jets, RB Michael Carter is on the IR list and will not play on Sunday. He had a good game against the Dolphins in the first game but it was Elijah Moore who had a big game against Miami. The receiver posted over 100 yards. He is on the COVID IR list this week as well and may not be activated prior to the game. Like Waddle.
The Jets defense, while inconsistent, can be good. The Dolphins need to play smart football and not overlook them. Not having two of their top starters available makes it harder but not impossible.
Without Holland, the Dolphins will see more from Brandon Jones who should be back this week. Jones is not listed with a injured designation on the final injury report. He was a full participant in practice.
The Dolphins could use Noah Igbinoghene as a straight up pass rusher as well coming from the safety spot but at this point, the Dolphins would be better to just roll with Jones.
At WR, DeVante Parker is healthy as are the other WRs. We should expect to see more Albert Wilson considering he has a similar skill set to Waddle in terms of speed burst. The Dolphins could go more physical at the position with a game plan designed around Preston Williams and Parker on the outside. We should also see more Mike Gesicki although for some reason, the Dolphins use of him is inconsistent.
It won’t be fun to not see Waddle or Holland on the field but it could be a lot worse and only a few days ago, it appeared it just might be.