Mike McDaniel’s optimistic update regarding Jaylen Waddle’s status for Week 1 matchup vs. Patriots

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are preparing for their Week 1 clash against the New England Patriots, and they’d love to have all hands on deck heading into the game.

Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle has had a rocky preseason due to a lower-body injury, but head coach Mike McDaniel seems very optimistic about the youngster’s chances of playing on Sunday.

Waddle was pretty durable for Miami last season, as he appeared in 16 games. The Dolphins would love to see him on the field in all of their games this season.

As a rookie, Waddle turned some heads. He racked up 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns, and he also added a rushing touchdown just for good measure.

With Tyreek Hill now in the mix for Miami, expectations are extremely high for what the team’s wide receiver room will accomplish this season. A Hill-Waddle duo figures to do a lot of damage, and Dolphins fans would love to see both players in action this Sunday.

Of course, it’ll be on Tua Tagovailoa to get the ball to his star receivers. The quarterback is entering his third season at the NFL level, and it’s no secret that he has a lot to prove in the 2022 campaign.

A game against the Patriots is a nice test for the Dolphins to start the season. McDaniel will have his hands full trying to keep up with legendary head coach Bill Belichick, which will give Dolphins fans a legitimate chance to evaluate McDaniel’s in-game coaching abilities.

One thing Miami wants to avoid is a slow start to the season. The Dolphins put themselves in a 1-7 hole to start the 2021 campaign, and they were never able to fully recover, as they missed the playoffs.

Funnily enough, the Dolphins started last season with a win over the Patriots before losing seven straight. If the Dolphins beat New England this weekend, the hope will certainly be that another lengthy losing streak doesn’t follow.

Only time will tell if Waddle does ultimately see any action on Sunday, but McDaniel seems to feel good about the situation.

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Jason is excited to cover the Miami Dolphins. He is a sports writer who has followed the NFL for over a decade.