Miami Dolphins Confirm Worst Fears for Defensive Star

The Miami Dolphins hammered their AFC East rival New York Jets 34-13 in the NFL's inaugural Black Friday game yesterday, but a fourth-quarter injury may have spoiled the celebration. Head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed that defensive end Jaelan Phillips suffered a torn Achilles on Friday that is expected to cost him the remainder of the season.

Phillips, who is tied for the Dolphins' lead in sacks this season with 6.5 despite missing three games, logged a sack and a pass deflection as part of a ferocious front that hassled Jets quarterback Tim Boyle relentlessly yesterday, sacking him seven times while holding him to a minuscule 2.89 net yards per passing attempt on 45 dropbacks.

The Dolphins drafted Phillips 18th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft in part due to a staggering pro day performance, and he appeared well on his way to a career season. Losing him will be a heartbreaking blow for a Dolphins defense that appeared to be cresting in recent weeks. Over their last four matchups, they've allowed fewer than 300 yards per game while forcing seven total turnovers. 

The Dolphins will miss Phillip's explosive edge presence, but they should remain a contender in the AFC. They have a deep pass rush that has logged 38 total sacks this season, third-most in the league, and they remain an offensive powerhouse with an AFC-best 30.8 points per game. Losing Phillips will hurt, but it won't derail their season.

Photo Credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports