By: Anthony Marshall
The Miami Dolphins are now going into their bye week for the 2020 NFL season after COVID-19 gave the NFL scheduling issues. The original bye week was Week 11 but was changed to Week 7. For the Dolphins, this is a great opportunity to get the team healthy and ready to get after it in Week 8 as they host the Los Angeles Rams.
The Dolphins suffered a handful of injuries in Week 6 against the New York Jets, which saw DeVante Parker (groin) sidelined, Kamu Grugier-Hill (hand), Andrew Van Ginkel (concussion) and Raekwon Davis (shoulder) all get banged up.
Additionally, the Dolphins had four inactives for the game against the Jets in WR/RB Malcolm Perry, RB Jordan Howard, LB Kyle Van Noy, and DE Jason Strowbridge. Getting all these guys back for Week 8 is vital for both the offense and defensive sides of the ball and overall progression of the team.
DeVante Parker has been banged up all year with the hamstring injury that's been lingering all year and now with the groin injury that had him sidelined in the NY game, Parker has to continue to play through pain as he has shown in 2020 so far. When on the field healthy he is unguardable and a nightmare match us coming off a season with 72 Receptions good for 1,202 Total Yards and 9 touchdowns.
In his 2020 season campaign Parker has 29 receptions on 40 targets for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dating back to the last 10 games of 2019 and the first 6 of 2020, Parker is putting up top-5 NFL receiver numbers in that time frame. Parker is on pace for another 1,000 receiving yard season again if he can stay on the field.
On the defensive side of the ball Grugier-Hill, Van Ginkel, Davis, Van Noy and Strowbridge all have been a big part of the defense. In Week 6 against New York, the Dolphins defense held the Jets to 263 total yards offensively creating 2 turnovers and holding the Jets to only 4 of 20 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Kamu Grugier-Hill has made an immediate impact on the field with his pass-rush, coverage and run support.
Grugier-Hill has 19 tackles and 1 sack, his LB partner Kyle Van Noy has been a leader on and off the field and despite missing Week 6, he still has 19 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Getting Van Noy (groin) back in the lineup is huge because of his leadership and all-around defensive performance he brings.
Andrew Van Ginkel has been really turning the corner this year defensively, literally. His ability to edge rush and drop back into coverage has been huge for the Dolphins and in his second year out of Wisconsin he has 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble this season.
Miami is sitting 3-3 overall and 2nd in the AFC East and will turn to Tua Tagovailoa to lead the charge offensively. Tua steps in after the Dolphins had two convincing wins the past couple of weeks again the 49ers and Jets. Miami is right in the middle of the playoff hunt through the first seven weeks of the season, with Tua stepping in offensively the Dolphins will need the offensive line to stay healthy and protect Tua and having DeVante Parker out there makes Tua life a little easier with him being a perfect slant specialist to aide a strength of the rookie QB.
Defensively for the Dolphins, they need to continue to get pressure on the quarterback and slow down the run game, defensively the secondary has been getting fully healthy and starting to show that in the 305 it will be hard to air it out on a secondary that is improving week-to-week.
Miami looks to get fully healthy with a favorable schedule coming up starting November 1st, as they host the Los Angeles Rams at Hard Rock Stadium, 1:00 PM ET on Fox. The starting debut of Tua Tagovailoa.
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