Dolphins News: If Jaylen Waddle Is Out, Who Steps Up For Miami?

The Miami Dolphins have boasted a high-powered offense through the first two weeks of the season, thanks in large part to their dynamic receiving core led by Tyreek Hill. But Jaylen Waddle has been productive as well, both last year and at the start of 2023, and the team could be without his services this coming Sunday.

Dolphins Injury Report: Waddle Could Be Out This Sunday

Late in Miami’s Sunday Night Football victory over the Patriots last week, Waddle took a helmet-to-helmet shot to the back of the head that forced him to miss the rest of the contest. He was diagnosed with a concussion after the game, and his status going forward was immediately in question.

According to reports out of Miami, Waddle has progressed well through concussion protocol. So well, in fact, that he was back for a light practice on Thursday, and was listed as a participant in Friday’s session as well.

But given the league’s recent stance on concussions, there is a good chance that Waddle won’t be cleared to play in this Sunday’s game against the Broncos. Hill will of course be there to help pick up some of the load, but there is a noticeable drop off between the Dolphins’ #2 and #3 listed receivers.

Berrios and Cracraft Will Have To Step Up

Behind Waddle on the depth chart are both Braxton Berrios and River Cracraft. They have 74 and 70 yards receiving through two games, but have been reliable targets for Tua Tagovailoa when he is unable to find Hill or Waddle. Look for one of the two (or both) to step up and get an increased number of targets should Waddle be forced to miss time.

There may be some other names that find an increase in touches and targets as well. Last year’s rookie wide receiver Erik Ezukanma saw an increase in reps last game, though literally all of his production has come through the ground game. He has 5 carries on the year for 22 yards, to go along with one target and zero catches.

Cedrick Wilson Jr., who has been a massive disappointment for Miami since the start of last year, has been a healthy scratch for Weeks 1 and 2. But given that the Dolphins may need bodies, he could get his first action of the season against the Broncos on Sunday.

The Dolphins are currently 6.5 point favorites.

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