Jaylen Waddle Injury Update: Miami Dolphins’ Star Receiver Ruled Out for Week 17

The Miami Dolphins will be without star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for the team's pivotal Week 17 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

Mike McDaniel preaches that the next game is always the most important, but when it comes to the Miami Dolphins’ upcoming matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, that mantra is much more than coach-speak.

Miami’s Week 17 contest presents a chance for the Dolphins to not only lock up the AFC East but to control the team’s destiny for the No. 1 seed in the AFC (and a playoff bye). Unfortunately for the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Miami will enter its penultimate regular season game without stud wideout Jaylen Waddle.

Jaylen Waddle Out Against Baltimore Ravens

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed during Friday’s press conference that Waddle will be unavailable this week. Waddle suffered an ankle injury during Miami’s Week 16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and did not return, and he was unable to log any practice reps as of Friday’s press conference.

McDaniel told reporters earlier this week that Waddle suffered a high ankle sprain against Dallas, though the head coach also noted that the injury is “not overly severe.”

“I would say, in my career, he’s one of, if not the toughest, fast guy that I’ve ever been around. It just so happens that all our fast guys are really tough,” McDaniel noted.

But as many football fans know, toughness isn’t enough when it comes to high ankle sprains to skill position players. Those injuries can frequently knock wide receivers and running backs out for a month or more, though the fact that McDaniel downplayed the severity of Waddle’s particular issue leaves room for optimism regarding that timeline.

In Waddle’s absence, the Dolphins will surely continue to lean on superstar pass catcher Tyreek Hill, who currently leads the NFL with 1,641 receiving yards.

Hill is nursing an ankle injury of his own, but he managed to play through it in Miami’s win over Dallas and seemed to emerge from the game without any setbacks. Hill has been limited in practice this week, but there’s no indication that he’s in danger of missing Week 17.

Aside from Hill, the Dolphins will likely look to Braxton Berrios more on offense. Berrios has been Miami’s primary kick returner this season while also frequently serving as the team’s third option at wide receiver.

MORE: Does Miami Dolphins’ Vic Fangio Still Have Beef With John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens?

That WR3 role has also often been shared with Cedrick Wilson Jr., who stepped up for the Dolphins against the Cowboys and tallied three receptions for 42 yards and two first downs.

Also on the depth chart at wideout are Robbie Chosen, River Cracraft, and Chase Claypool. Chosen is working his way through the concussion protocol, and McDaniel noted on Friday that the veteran pass catcher is in the final stages with a chance to be cleared for Sunday.

Claypool, who Miami received in a late-round pick swap with the Chicago Bears earlier this year, is a candidate to fill in for Waddle as well given the former’s high-end athleticism. When asked about Waddle’s injury potentially opening up the door for Miami fans to see more of Claypool, McDaniel took the opportunity to praise the enigmatic wideout, who had been criticized for a lack of effort in Chicago.

“In practice, there’s been an uptick in involvement … Whatever narratives existed before, all he’s done here is chopped wood, gotten better, and assimilated into a system that is not necessarily easy … it’s been really cool to watch him define himself with his teammates and take advantage of whatever opportunity is given … I expect to see a little bit more of him too.”

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles