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Where is Jaylen Waddle?

Miami hasn’t utilized the 2021 first-round pick in recent weeks.

Houston Texans v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Mike McDaniel is living up to his reputation as an offensive guru in his first season as coach of the Dolphins. Despite recent struggles, Miami ranks ninth in the league with an average of 24.3 points per game.

While the Dolphins have settled for an average of 21.3 points over the last three games, that number is still better than the unit that produced 20.1 points per game a season ago.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the offense have hit a rough patch and it’s hard not to ask where is Jaylen Waddle?

The Dolphins have scored 17 points in each of the last two games and Waddle has caught three of nine targets during that stretch. Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers marked just the second time this season the former first-round pick had less than five targets.

Waddle caught three of four targets on Oct. 3 against the Colts last season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, the lone time he saw less than five targets last season. Waddle is now competing with Tyreek Hill for targets, but getting the ball in his hands is a priority for the offense.

Tagovailoa to Waddle is a lethal combination down the field as the Alabama product ranks sixth in the league with an average of 17 yards per catch. As defenses have adjusted to Miami’s offense in recent weeks, it’s possible that the team may sacrifice downfield strikes in favor of quicker plays to the speedy wideout.

If Miami wants to sweep the Buffalo Bills for the first time since 2016, Waddle will need to look like the player who caught four of six targets for 102 yards in Week 3.