Tyreek Hill's availability for Sunday is up in the air. Today's practice will be telling as he missed Wednesday. Without Hill, the Miami Dolphins offense is going to look much different.
Defenses have to prepare differently for the Miami Dolphins. They have to double up on Hill and allocate resources to stop him. Without Hill, teams can allocate those resources differently and while that may sound like a better option for the defense, the Dolphins would likely face different looks that might be easier to exploit with the personnel they already have.
It's time for the Miami Dolphins contributing players to step up and play a part and this group of offensive guys should be able to do just that.
Chase Claypool should see more reps on Sunday against the Patriots and while none of these players can do what Hill does, they bring their own capabilities to the roster and that will present certain unknowns for teams until Hill comes back.
Right now, defenses know who they need to stop. Hill and then Waddle. Now they may think stopping Waddle is the priority and some may think they can do that one-on-one or with safety help. They may put more players at the line of scrimmage and not drop the secondary back as far.
The Miami Dolphins may not have Tyreek Hill speed available but their players are still faster than most cornerbacks.
The Dolphins offense relies on Hill, perhaps a little too much. Play designs are such that Hill is the featured receiver and that is the way it should be but at times, Tua will take shots that maybe he may not need to take, in order to feed Hill the ball.
There have been several games where other players have been left open and the ball has been thrown to Hill who was covered. Tua may not have that option. Will this affect his reads and his reactions? It will be interesting to see how Mike McDaniel changes his offense.
The Dolphins offense should still be productive without Tyreek Hill but there is one area that may end up being a little bit better than it is with Hill on the field. Time of possession.
It may sound like we are simply trying to find a silver lining here but the Dolphins' big play WR tends to shorten drives and that puts the defense in a situation where they can wear out quicker. Without Hill, the Dolphins are not likely going to look for big breakaway receptions and quick scores but possibly more methodical in their approach, more deliberate in what they are trying to do. Move the ball, 10 yards at a time.
Eating the clock, and possessing the ball, is a good way to control the tempo of a game, and if the Dolphins can still put points on the board with Waddle, Braxton Berrios, Claypool, Durham Smythe, and Cedrick Wilson, which we know they can, the Dolphins shouldn't have a hard time putting teams away until Hill comes back.
Of course that is if Hill misses any time at all because right now, we simply don't know.