In a battle between two last place teams in their respected divisions, the Miami Dolphins battle the New York Giants in Miami’s second game in the same amount of weeks up in the Meadowlands. This game has huge 2020 NFL Draft implications as both teams currently hold a top-five selection.
The Dolphins (3-10) are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New York Jets, 22-21, when all Miami could really rely on was kicker Jason Sanders. Sanders went 7-for-8 on field goal attempts, setting a new franchise record, but not much else got going for the club.
Concussion protocol still looms for multiple Dolphins
While the Dolphins likely won’t have to rely just on kicking in this game, they have more injuries to worry about in this game. They look to have their No. 1 wide receiver, DeVante Parker back out of concussion protocol after practicing fully with the team on Friday. Fellow WR Albert Wilson has also been in concussion protocol, but has not cleared it and will need to do so before entering Sunday’s game. However, he also has not been ruled out after logging a practice on Friday. WR Allen Hurns no longer carries an injury designation and will enter in as the team’s No. 3 WR, with Isaiah Ford looking to roll in and out of the game as the No. 4, or start if either Parker or Wilson can’t go.
“The protocol is, it goes day-to-day. Right now those guys are still in concussion protocol and we’ll just wait until they get cleared. It’s really more a medical thing more than it is my decision,” Miami head coach Brian Flores said. It’s not my decision at all, so when they give me the call whether it’s today, tomorrow – it’s the protocol.
Patrick Laird to make second career start as RB
While the leading rusher for the Dolphins was once again quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Patrick Laird will make his second career start. He had 19 total touches in the air and on the ground for a combined 86 yards. We’re getting there.
Eli Manning will start for New York
After suffering an ankle injury in week 13, Giants (2-11) QB Daniel Jones was deemed week-to-week and has officially been ruled out for the game. Veteran QB Eli Manning will be under center for the second straight week after being benched after week two.
“(He’s a) good quarterback. He played last week (and) played well. It’ll be a tough test. They’ve got a lot of good players, so I’m sure Eli’s going to try to get it those guys – Saquon (Barkley), (Darius) Slayton, the rest of the group, (Sterling) Shepard, Golden Tate, (involved),” head coach Brian Flores said.
Giants enter game on short week after division loss
The Giants are another team that haven’t had much to be happy about season as they have struggled with scoring points and have also been dealing with injuries along the course of the season.
New York enters the game on a short week after it lost its most recent game on Monday Night Football on a strong Philadelphia Eagles comeback. The Giants are now on a nine-game losing streak after the 23-17 overtime defeat.
Saquon Barkley: Poised for breakout game?
There’s also no doubt that second year RB Saquon Barkley has hit the “Sophomore Slump”. He has 154 rushing attempts with just 610 rushing yards on the season with only two TDs. Thankfully though for New York, Miami has the second worst rush defense in the NFL and could have a breakout game.
Giants can drown Dolphins through the air
New York will also be ready to roll with its top three WRs: Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. These weapons truly are unpredictable and are doing just fine on their parts with missing pieces of the offense. Each week it seems to be someone new putting up the numbers. Slayton should be without a doubt excited again for the big-play possibility, a weak spot for Miami, after posting 154 yards on five catches with two long TDs for New York last week.
Miami and New York kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Kayla Morton contributed to this article.