An ankle injury will be one of the first things to hold Tyreek Hill back all season.
The Dolphins star is officially inactive for Miami’s AFC East game against the New York Jets after not practicing all week.Miami will at least have the quick services of running back De’Von Achane, who is active despite a toe injury, but Hill is the real driving force behind Miami’s potent offense. Hill suffered the injury during a shocking Week 14 loss to the Titans, which included surgery that stalled after he was limited and played just 34 snaps (fourth among Dolphins wideouts).With Miami seeking its first AFC East title since 2008 and the AFC’s top spot still in sight — plus the possibility of a 2,000-yard receiving season — Hill’s absence comes at a critical time. He has been by far Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite target this season, leading the offense with 132 targets, 97 receptions, 1,542 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle ranks second to Hill in all of those categories with 822 yards and three scores on 63 catches, and outside of his 91 targets, no other pass catcher has seen more than 30 – more than 100 fewer than Hill .On an individual level, Hill entered Week 15 with the pace to lead the league and become the first player to record more than 2,000 receiving yards in a season, but missing a game now makes that record improbable. His mark of 118.6 yards per game would have put him at 2,016 yards had he played the remaining four weeks. If he misses at least one, he will have to make up more than 100 meters. As for the team, his presence is also indispensable against the Jets’ second-ranked pass defense, which is getting accustomed to the Houston Texans’ undermanned aerial attack.Down Hill, Miami could have similar prospects if Waddle and others like Braxton Berrios, Ced Wilson and River Cracraft prove unable to rise to the challenge.That test awaits when the Dolphins (9-4) and Jets (5-8) tip off at 1 p.m. And Sunday.