MIAMI GARDENS — Mike McDaniel couldn’t wait to get the wrapping paper off his two, shiny new toys.
Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and running back Jeff Wilson were thrown right into the fire Sunday in Chicago. Just five days after being traded to the Dolphins in separate deals, the duo were put to work early and often in the tespanm’s 35-32 win against the Bears.
Chubb played 54 of Miami’s defensive snaps while Wilson played one more down than starter Raheem Mostert, 28-27. Some would consider that remarkable as the duo were in a different time zone just a few days earlier and had a very limited time to learn the playbook. Wilson had some familiarity as he and McDaniel were both with the 49ers before coming to Miami.
“That’s kind of what I would have thought going into the game,” McDaniel said of the Chubb and Wilson’s snap share. “You’re hesitant because there’s the human element, but if any two guys were capable of doing something like that, it would have to be two football-centric, committed professionals like those two.
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“It’s a testament to them, and their teammates really, for them to be able to produce in the short amount of time that they were able to.”
Chubb and Wilson not only played a lot, but they were productive in helping Miami improve to 6-3. While Chubb didn’t pop on the stat sheet a whole lot – one tackle and no sacks – it was the dirty work he did that got McDaniel the most excited about his performance. He knows what the $110 million man will be able to do with more time within Josh Boyer’s defensive scheme.
“I was pumped,” McDaniel said. “I was very happy with how he was able to go out and play pretty hard. There were several occasions that he didn’t end up on the stat sheet but he completely affected the pass plays by getting to the quarterback quick enough that he had to get the ball out. And that’s what you’re asking for that position.”
Wilson finished the day as the team’s leading rusher with 51 yards on nine carries to go along with three receptions for 21 yards. He also got into the end zone in his debut on a 10-yard reception in the third quarter.
While Wilson had more snaps than Mostert – who had become the team’s established lead back over the last several weeks and also scored Sunday – McDaniel envisions it being a very fluid situation. He said he knows the guys in that room will be good with whatever the situation is moving forward.
“Those guys, they both are star caliber players,” McDaniel said of Mostert and Wilson. “You kind of make sure that they both have opportunities and they’ll always have opportunities in each individual game but they’re both very well aware that there’s a certain time guys feel it. … The running back room gets pumped when a running back makes a play. It’s not really ‘I’ or ‘Me,’ and I think that’s a huge variable in team success.”
Dolphins leave Chicago fairly healthy
McDaniel was shocked when he received the postgame injury report Sunday and saw how relatively clean it was.
“Really, it was the best that we’ve come out of the game,” McDaniel said. “It was one of those double takes and you have to look at the injury (report) and be like ‘Wait, what? Are you pulling a fast one on me?’ ”
Tight end Hunter Long entering the concussion protocol was the lone injury following the win. Receiver Jaylen Waddle, who went into the injury tent for a short stint, ended up finishing the game and it seems like there’s no concern regarding him entering week 10.
Offensive tackle Austin Jackson will continue his progress towards returning. Jackson practiced for the first time since the start of the season on Friday, but he was inactive for Sunday’s game. He’s expected to continue practicing this week with McDaniel encouraged by what he saw in that one session.
“I saw the same player that didn’t have any setbacks,” McDaniel said. “He’s actually gotten a ton of mental reps in this period. He’s been locked in the whole time. And I was encouraged because it looks exactly like the athlete that I know. And I was encouraged because it didn’t hurt him in the process.”
Meanwhile, there are no changes to the status of cornerback Byron Jones, who has yet to play or practice this season following offseason Achilles surgery. He’ll remain on the physically unable to perform list.
Browns at Dolphins
1 p.m., CBS