Jaylen Waddle has been the Miami Dolphins‘ most dependable offensive weapon since the start of the 2021 season.
But Tua Tagovailoa will have to change things up in Week 3, as Waddle won’t be available.
The Dolphins downgraded the star wide receiver to OUT Saturday afternoon. He had been questionable with a concussion.
Is Jaylen Waddle Going To Play Week 3?
Waddle returned to practice Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday as he worked his way back from the head injury suffered in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday night. He was officially listed as questionable on the team’s Friday injury report.
But the Dolphins tipped their hand Saturday afternoon when they elevated Robbie Chosen from the practice squad to the active roster. That was confirmed shortly afterward when Waddle was ruled out by the Dolphins for Week 3.
Waddle was concussed late in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins’ win over the Patriots.
He was the intended target of a pass from Tagovailoa that Matthew Judon broke up. When Waddle was going to the ground, linebacker Marte Mapu forcefully made contact with the back of Waddle’s helmet with his own.
— Nación Patriota (@nacionpatriots) September 18, 2023
Waddle has started 35 of a possible 36 games since entering the league in 2021.
Waddle, who has caught eight passes for 164 yards in 2023, has averaged 5.3 catches and 72.4 yards per game with 14 receiving touchdowns in his career.
“As a coach, I always prepare for worst-case scenarios, but we’ll see how he progresses and see what the medical staff tells me about his position and the protocol [Saturday] and the day after and the day after and the day after,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Friday.
“… I’m going to wait until he clears the protocol first before I even enter into is it best or worst for him or other players. I’m just going to wait until he clears the protocol before I even enter into that whole field. Stay in my lane.”
Fantasy Impact With Waddle Ruled Out
Waddle and Tyreek Hill have combined for 49% of Dolphins receptions this season — not to mention 47.9% of the targets and 58.6% of the receiving yards. With Waddle out, a large usage window opens in this passing game should the Dolphins continue to pass at a 60% rate, but that seems unlikely against a defense that gave up 122 yards and two scores on the ground last week.
Raheem Mostert picked up at least three yards on 83.3% of his carries in the win over the Patriots last week. That rate may not sustain with one less option for defenses to look at, but his ability to be efficient while also having home-run potential has him flirting with my top 10 at the position this week.
Tagovailoa falls one spot in my QB rankings, but he remains a fine start in an offense that I still expect to move the ball consistently.
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