Marcel Louis-JacquesESPNNov 3, 2023, 10:26 AM ET3 Minute Read
FRANKFURT, Germany — Leading up to Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel knows there will be a narrative no matter the result.
The Dolphins and Chiefs are both 6-2 and among a four-way tie atop the AFC with a bevy of teams just one loss behind them. The parity in the NFL and few number of games contribute to what McDaniel said was an abundance of narratives surrounding each team.
“I’ll tell you what’s going to happen with the Miami Dolphins. We lose, we can’t beat good teams. We win, we’re going to win the Super Bowl,” McDaniel said Friday. “None of it matters. You have to be your best when your best is required, and that’s when there’s elimination games. So you’re trying to build towards that and take advantage of every opportunity to best serve yourself for the situation at the end of the season.”
The Dolphins will face the defending Super Bowl champions without starting right guard Rob Hunt, who was forced out of last week’s game against the New England Patriots with a hamstring injury and did not practice this week despite traveling with the team to Frankfurt as part of the NFL’s International Series.
Miami might see the return of left tackle Terron Armstead, who is eligible to be activated this week from injured reserve. Armstead’s 21-day activation window opened this week, and while McDaniel did not commit to the Pro Bowler playing Sunday, he said the team is optimistic about Armstead’s progress throughout the week.
“We still have a day to assess and we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, but it’s been very encouraging and we feel optimistic, but have to just see how today plays out to make sure that there’s no setbacks,” McDaniel said . “We feel very good about all the offensive linemen we play, and there’s a long season, so we don’t want — there’s no reason for him to be pressing through something that might hurt him in the long run.”
Center Connor Williams did not suffer any setbacks this week as he continues to work his way through a groin injury that kept him out of the Dolphins’ past three games.
McDaniel joked that Williams is “one of the more frustrated players that doesn’t play that I’ve been around,” noting the “worst look” he gets from Williams when he is held out from participating in a game or practice. Williams laughed when asked about McDaniel’s assessment of his demeanor but acknowledged the frustration of not being able to play for nearly a month.
“I think to play at this level, you have to have that space,” Williams said. “You can access that high space so you can execute on a high level, and just being out and having to withhold that, then just being around the guys and serving a different role and a different purpose the last couple of weeks, [was frustrating].
“And that might be where the death stares come from because I’m just trying to stay as locked in as possible.”
Miami will also be without safety Brandon Jones, who remains in the concussion protocol and did not travel with the team this week.