The Dolphins were flat out embarrassed by their divisional foes up in Foxborough last week, showing that Miami still has a ways to go before emerging as a top AFC contender. That game also brought injuries to the forefront of everyone’s mind in South Florida, as the Dolphins’ swath of absences due to injuries is beginning to take a toll on this team. When the Dolphins travel to Cincinnati this weekend, one player on the opposing team is sure to attempt to take advantage of Miami’s ailing secondary.
Each week of the 2018 season, I’m highlighting one player on the opposing team that Dolphins fans should be watching out for. This week, that player is Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd.
Experience: 3rd season
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 203 lbs
After two seasons of being limited to coming off of the bench on a limited offense, Boyd has exploded onto the scene through the first quarter of the 2018 season. With Cincinnati’s aerial attack clicking, Boyd has been thrust into a starting roll and has thrived as A.J. Green’s partner in crime.
Across from Green, Boyd has compiled 26 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns across four contests. He also has one rushing attempt for five yards. With starting tight end Tyler Eifert going down last week, Boyd will be even more heavily relied on in the passing game, meaning his statistical production is sure to balloon further.
As I mentioned above, the Dolphins have endured an unfortunate number injures in such a short period of time. The team has lost starting guard Josh Sitton, starting center Daniel Kilgore, starting tight end MarQueis Gray, and run-stopping maven William Hayes to season ending injuries. On top of that, defensive end Andre Branch, wide receiver DeVante Parker, safety Reshad Jones, and tight end A.J. Derby have all missed (or will miss) significant time. Yet, there’s one specific injury that will be a major detriment in Miami’s attempt to stifle Boyd, and that is to Bobby McCain’s knee.
McCain, Miami’s #2 cornerback, went down against the Patriots last week with a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for several games. With McCain out and budding star Xavien Howard likely to have his hands full with Green, the Dolphins will need to rely on Torry McTyer to cover Boyd. While McTyer has proven himself serviceable, he simply doesn’t have the experience or polish of McCain, meaning the Dolphins may have to provide him with extra help from defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones (if Jones is available to play this weekend). Whatever defensive coordinator Matt Burke cooks up, it will have to be creative to cover up what is shaping out to be a depleted roster.