There has been some big news on the injury front ahead of the New York Jets Week 5 matchup with the Miami Dolphins — and the most crucial update centers around superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
The former Kansas City Chiefs breakout made headlines earlier this week when he explained why he chose the Dolphins over the Jets this spring, spurning New York fans in the process. Just a few days later, it appears Hill is in danger of missing his first meeting against the fellow 2022 suitor.
Hill popped up on the Miami injury report with a new quad ailment on October 6. Reporters asked Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel about this sudden occurrence this morning on October 7 and here was the latest: “He had something come up. We’re treating it. And we’re very hopeful he’ll play.”
McDaniel jokingly added that he can say “with 100% conviction that [Hill] will play or he won’t play, and that’s all [Robert] Saleh’s getting.” The Dolphins officially listed the wideout as “questionable” on their final injury report, putting his availability in doubt.
Robert Saleh Provides Update on Duane Brown, Quincy Williams
As you can see based on McDaniel’s purposefully coy answer above, there’s a new strange element to the long-time Jets-Fins rivalry of old — friendship. Saleh and McDaniel are buddies from their days in San Francisco and multiple members of each staff (including OC Mike LaFleur) are friendly with one another.
McDaniel even referred to the game as the “Emba Bowl,” because of father-son combo John and Taylor Embree, who are divided up between the Jets and Dolphins staffs.
It’s a weird dynamic, and you can bet both coaching pals will keep things close to the vest in Week 5 as McDaniel is doing with Hill. Saleh provided a similar injury update on left tackle Duane Brown, who returned to practice this week after a stint on the injured reserve.
“Everything went good,” Saleh voiced about Brown. “He’s being evaluated today and tomorrow [Saturday] just to see how [his shoulder] works out. Obviously, the load today is going to be a little less than yesterday but we’ll see how it goes for the next couple of days.”
“Is that going to be a game-time type of decision?” New York Daily News beat reporter Antwan Staley questioned, to which Saleh replied “yeah.”
Rookie right tackle Max Mitchell and linebacker Quincy Williams are not expected to play after sitting out all week with long-term injuries. Neither has been placed on the injured reserve at this time and it’s important to note that the Jets still have to activate Brown and defensive end Vinny Curry to the 53-man roster before they can take the field on Sunday.
Later on October 7, Brown did tell media members that as of now, he’s “good to go” in Week 5. Linebacker Marcell Harris is also questionable with a neck injury despite logging full practices on Thursday and Friday.
Dolphins Look Banged up in Week 5
We know about the Hill injury and most are probably aware that backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be starting in place of Tua Tagovailoa in Week 5, but Miami’s long list of injuries does not end there.
Another huge name that looks like a game-time decision is Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead (toe). McDaniel kept things open-ended with both Armstead and star cornerback Xavien Howard (groin).
“Philosophically, generally when players don’t practice, you don’t play them,” McDaniel did admit before adding that “absolutes are not my cup of tea,” and Armstead and Howard’s veteran experience could make them the exception to the rule on Sunday morning.
Along with Armstead, tight end Cethan Carter and Tagovailoa have yet to practice this week. Both were officially ruled out on Friday while Howard was upgraded to a limited practice — as were defensive back Keion Crossen and guard Robert Jones. Notably, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle has also been limited all week — like Hill — with a groin injury.
The only other limited Dolphin on Friday was running back Salvon Ahmed (back), who was hit with a questionable tag alongside Waddle, Armstead, Howard, Crossen, Jones, and the aforementioned Hill.
Even if some of these guys do end up suiting up for Miami, it looks like most might be playing at a level that is less than 100 percent — making this a very winnable division game for the Jets at home.