Friday, December 9, 2022

Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle returns to practice, on track to play in Week 1 vs. Patriots

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USATSI

Tyreek Hill has been the talk of the Dolphins‘ revamped offense going into 2022, but Tua Tagovailoa will also have his top target from 2021 when the team hosts the rival Patriots in its regular-season opener. Starting wide receiver Jaylen Waddle returned to practice Monday, six days before the Week 1 matchup, according to the Miami Herald, and is on track to play despite battling an apparent leg injury throughout the summer.

The 23-year-old Waddle, who set a new NFL rookie record for catches (104) last year, sat out the Dolphins’ entire preseason and also missed time during joint practices with an undisclosed injury. Coach Mike McDaniel, however, has been bullish about the young receiver’s availability going into 2022, telling reporters last week that he was “very, very, very confident” Waddle would be ready for Week 1, even indicating the former first-round pick would’ve played multiple games if the regular season schedule had started weeks ago.

McDaniel reiterated his optimism regarding Waddle on Monday, per the Herald, saying the second-year target will be fine for the Dolphins’ Sept. 11 home opener.

Waddle led Miami with 1,015 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. He figures to remain an integral piece of the offense, even with Hill in town as the new No. 1 wideout for Tagovailoa.

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