Dolphins coach ‘very confident' Waddle will play vs. Pats despite injury


The Miami Dolphins are expecting to have one of their best offensive playmakers on the field when they host the rival New England Patriots in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters Thursday he's quite confident that wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who's dealing with a lower body injury, will be ready to play versus the Patriots on Sept. 11.

Waddle was a first-round pick (No. 6 overall) of the Dolphins in 2021. He had a tremendous rookie season, leading the team in receptions with 104, receiving yards with 1,015 and receiving touchdowns with six.

The Dolphins acquired star wideout Tyreek Hill in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs over the offseason. Hill and Waddle could become the most feared pass-catching duo in the league, although it will be up to third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to get them the ball. Tagovailoa has failed to meet expectations since being drafted No. 5 overall in 2020.

It'll be interesting to see how the Patriots secondary defends Waddle and Hill in Week 1. New England lost J.C. Jackson in free agency and doesn't have a true No. 1 cornerback. Jalen Mills likely will fill that role to begin the season, with Jonathan Jones second on the depth chart. After those two veterans, the Patriots are very young and inexperienced at cornerback.

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