MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins are placing rookie running back De’Von Achane on injured reserve on Wednesday after he suffered a knee injury against the New York Giants.
Coach Mike McDaniel did not confirm whether Achane’s injury will require surgery, nor did he provide many details on the extent of the injury. He said it is not a “grave” injury, and he expects Achane to return this season. The injury happened late in a 31-16 win over the Giants on Sunday.
“It wasn’t a black-and-white decision where it was obvious, but it was something that Chris (GM Chris Grier) and I knew was the best thing for the team, which always coincides with what’s best for that particular athlete,” McDaniel said.
Achane will miss Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, as well as matchups against Philadelphia, New England and Kansas City. The Dolphins have a bye in Week 10, so he will be eligible to return in Week 11 against the Raiders.
Miami’s running back room will get a boost soon with the return of Jeff Wilson Jr, whom the Dolphins designated to return from injured reserve after he missed the first five weeks with various injuries. His 21-day window to return opened Wednesday, and he practiced.
“We’re extremely happy to have Jeff back as well,” quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said. “He’s excited to get things going. He looked really good out there at practice today, so we’re all excited.”
Miami has the NFL’s top rushing offense, averaging 185.8 yards per game, thanks in part to the production of Achane, whom the Dolphins selected in the third round of the 2023 draft.
“I never look at the run game in general as one player,” McDaniel said. “(Achane has) been making a ton of plays and has been obviously doing an outstanding job with every single one of his opportunities.”
Achane leads the league with 12.1 yards per carry, and he’s second in total yards rushing with 460 despite having only 38 carries — 61 fewer than San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey, who leads the NFL with 510 yards.
Achane had a breakout game in Week 3 against Denver after being a healthy scratch in the season opener and getting only one carry for 5 yards the next week.
The former Texas A&M running back led the team with 203 total yards on 18 carries, 11.3 yards per rush and four touchdowns in Miami’s 70-20 win over Denver, and he immediately earned a larger role in the Dolphins’ prolific offense.
He had a team-high 11 carries against the Giants, as well as a 76-yard touchdown run in which he reached 21.76 mph, which is the third-fastest ball carrier speed in the NFL this season.
His grasp of his role in a short period of time has impressed teammates already, including Tagovailoa who has praised Achane for understanding the game “like the back of his hand.”
Achane’s speedy teammate Jaylen Waddle said Wednesday that he’s confident he will return stronger and faster from his injury.
“Still not faster than me,” Waddle added jokingly, “but he’ll be back.”
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