Tyreek Hill made the decision to not play with an injured ankle this past Sunday, and it all worked out just fine for the Miami Dolphins, who easily defeated the New York Jets without their superstar wide receiver.
Tyreek Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says that the @cheetah did get an MRI this week on his ankle. Ultimately, it was Tyreek’s decision to play or sit. The Dolphins need him to as close as 100% as possible. Should he try to go vs. the #Cowboys or sit again? #FinsUp #MondayMorning pic.twitter.com/7X4aPeiEhq
— Josh Moser (@TheMozKnowz) December 18, 2023
Hill tested his ankle before the game before deciding he would sit out. The call was made including input from agent Drew Rosenhaus, who provided some background on what went into his client’s ultimate conclusion.
“I was involved throughout the week in talking to Tyreek and getting MRIs and discussing it with the various doctors that were involved and just giving my perspective to Tyreek,” Rosenhaus said.
“But this was Tyreek’s decision. And I’m sure he weighed a lot of different opinions from his family to his coaches to the trainers to all the people that he works with. But ultimately it boiled down to Tyreek, and you have to respect Tyreek because he put, in my mind, the team ahead of his individual goals.”
Miami did not miss a beat despite not having the NFL MVP candidate available. The Dolphins shut out the Jets 30-0, taking a 24-0 lead in the first half.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle contributed greatly stepping up for Hill, catching eight passes for 142 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
TUA TO WADDLE. 60-YARD TD.
— NFL (@NFL) December 17, 2023
The defense also was outstanding, allowing just 103 total yards, recording six sacks and forcing four turnovers. Miami boosted its record to 10-4 ahead of three difficult games to close the regular season.
Hill was injured last Monday night but was able to re-enter that 28-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans. It was thought he might try to play Sunday in part to get closer to his stated goal of becoming the first NFL player to gain 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Rosenhaus said the 29-year-old should be commended for putting the team first.
“Missing this game may allow Tyreek to be available later in the year against perhaps better teams or playoff teams ’cause you just don’t know what would’ve happened if he tried to play today,” Rosenhaus said. “It was a really risky proposition. Definitely felt like Tyreek and the team made the best decision by not playing today. In hindsight, looked like a great decision because the team won, and they won handily, and Tyreek was relieved. He was happy the team won.”
Based on his performances so far this season, Hill could still reach 2,000 yards with a few more big games. He has 1,542 receiving yards so far and needs 458 yards to do so, which would be an average of almost 153 yards per game if he is able to play in all of the final three.
But the Dolphins’ quest for their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years is certainly more important. They currently lead the AFC East and are on their way to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the 2001 season. Miami last won the NFL title in the 1973 season and hasn’t even been in the big game since the 1984 campaign.
Having Hill completely healthy as they attempt to reach those heights again is likely to remain the No. 1 priority as they determine his playing status going forward.