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Bye week boosts Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle ahead of second-half playoff push

Jaylen Waddle is averaging 13.1 yards per reception and has three touchdowns through eight games.

Before the season game Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins Photo by Jürgen Kessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins, currently standing at 6-3, hold the top spot in the AFC East. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and company features a 4-0 home record and won three of five games leading to the break.

With eight games left on the schedule, Dolphins’ wide receiver Jaylen Waddle felt the bye week couldn’t come at a better time. Miami’s third-year wide receiver missed Week 3 with a concussion and appeared on the injury report with oblique and back injuries.

“It helped a lot,” Waddle said on Tuesday. “We got some good work in before we left. Gave us a couple days off just to rejuvenate, really. Body recovery. I got a lot of treatment, not just me but all the guys. It was important to get our body right, especially going into the last stretch of the season.”

Waddle caught 40 of 59 targets this season for 522 yards and he’s scored a touchdown in each of Miami’s last three wins. The Dolphins didn’t release an injury report last week, but there’s a chance Waddle would’ve appeared after his leg was rolled on while blocking in Week 9’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Little nicks and dinks and bruises,” Waddle said of his injuries. “That comes with the season, but that bye week definitely helped me. I feel like in the long run, the second half of the season, I just feel a lot fresher.”

As the league leaders in yards per game (435.3) and passing yards per game (287.4), the Dolphins’ offense receives a significant boost when Waddle returns to form. With five of eight remaining games taking place at Hard Rock Stadium, his resurgence could supercharge Miami’s late-season playoff push.