The Miami Dolphins took care of business against the New York Jets on Black Friday with a 34-13 victory in the Week 12 AFC East battle but suffered a brutal loss in the process.
In the fourth quarter of the game, outstanding pass rush specialist Jaelan Phillips was carted off the field with a right Achilles injury which was confirmed Saturday as a season-ending injury. While that status was unknown at the time, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel offered a brief update:
“It’s his Achilles. Doesn’t look great, but we’ll find out more tomorrow. So, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but not fired up about it.”
The Dolphins coach went on to share how emotional the team was in watching Phillips getting carted off the field. Obviously, not as emotional as Phillips who took to social media to express his devastation.
“Absolutely devastated, but I feel strength in knowing that this is all a part of God’s plan, and that I have an incredible team and support system around me. I’ll be back stronger than ever Fins up,” Phillips wrote.
While teammate Raheem Mostert didn’t hold back in blaming the bad field surface at MetLife Stadium, Phillips is taking a more optimistic approach in dealing with what could be a season-ending injury. With 39 combined tackles and 5.5 sacks in seven games played this season, it’s a big hit for a Dolphins’ defense that still has a lot of talent on all three levels.
Life without Phillips: Dolphins players who need to step up
Both players should see increased snaps and are more than capable of producing on a talented Dolphins’ defense. Whenever a player like Phillips is lost for the season, it’s not really about replacing that players skillset, it’s about putting players in position to succeed and be productive which is what McDaniel echoed after the news of Phillips was confirmed.
“You don’t necessarily replace Jaelan Phillips,” McDaniel said, via ESPN. “But you can have guys that are fully capable to step up and kind of get his production through different ways. We are fortunate enough to have some depth.
“You don’t necessarily replace him, but it just gives different people opportunities and you kind of spread that out to do your best to compensate for that production loss.”
Although Ogbah is a player who has got it done in the past, the Phillips injury really opens up an opportunity for van Ginkel who has made plays in the defense. With four sacks this season, the linebacker will really get his chance to shine. With the way he flies around the field, there is no doubt he will step up in an increased role.