Miami Dolphins fans are still waiting for Chase Claypool to break out and give them a reason to understand why the team traded for him. Maybe this week is that game.
Claypool joined the Dolphins way back in October. He was the only trade in or out of Miami at the deadline and his trade actually came days before the deadline. Since his arrival in Miami, he has played seven games.
Claypool has only three receptions on four targets for 23 yards and he is only averaging 7.7 yards per reception. When Tyreek Hill was out against the Jets, many believed that he would step into a bigger role. That didn't happen.
In that game, Claypool did catch two passes on two targets but fans want to know when he will become that go-to player that has the talent to take apart defenses.
This could be that week, theoretically. Jaylen Waddle has been ruled out with a high ankle sprain and is likely going to miss the Bills game in week 18. With Waddle out, the Dolphins should turn to Claypool who has incredible talent but has yet to truly showcase it.
In his four-year NFL career, his best season came in 2020, his rookie year. He caught 62 passes for 873 yards and 9 touchdowns. Since then his TD totals dropped to no more than two in a single season.
Claypool complained his way out of Pittsburgh and was traded to the Bears during the 2022 season. That didn't last long either and now he is with the Dolphins.
Why Chase Claypool could be in the right place at the right time with the Miami Dolphins.
With Waddle out, the Dolphins should turn to Claypool. Get him involved early or use him in what would be a similar role to Deebo Samuel in San Francisco. Miami could use his physicality and size to dominate over the middle on crossing routes.
Lately, Mike McDaniel seems to be hung up on throwing a fade pass in the end zone, Claypool is 6'4" and is a perfect WR for that play. So far, Miami hasn't used him at all.
It's unclear why Claypool hasn't been used and there could be something internal going on but this week, against a team familiar with the WR from his time in Pittsburgh, might be the right time to use him. Otherwise, what was the point of bringing him in?
Miami is likely going to utilize Cedrick Wilson more but Claypool plays more physically and should see the field more often given the Dolphins need a good blocking WR for the outside. This is where Claypool as been used mostly to this point. Hopefully, McDaniel will turn him loose this week and get him more involved in moving the chains.