Mike McDaniel focused on end of season, not result vs. Chiefs

Marcel Louis-JacquesESPNNov 3, 2023, 10:26 AM ET4 Minute Read

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FRANKFURT, Germany — As the Miami Dolphins prepare for their upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Coach Mike McDaniel acknowledges the inevitable narratives that will emerge regardless of the outcome.

Both teams currently boast a 6-2 record, placing them in a four-way tie at the top of the AFC alongside several other teams hot on their heels. The NFL’s parity and the limited number of games played thus far contribute to the wide range of narratives surrounding each team.

In an attempt to downplay these narratives, McDaniel commented, “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.” He emphasized the importance of performing at their best during crucial moments, particularly during elimination games. McDaniel believes in building towards these moments and capitalizing on every opportunity to position themselves for success at the end of the season.

The Dolphins will face the defending Super Bowl champions without starting right guard Rob Hunt, who sustained a hamstring injury during last week’s game against the New England Patriots. Despite traveling with the team to Frankfurt for the NFL International Series, Hunt did not participate in practice this week.

On a positive note, left tackle Terron Armstead may make a return from injured reserve this week. The activation window for Armstead, a Pro Bowler, opened earlier in the week. While McDaniel did not confirm Armstead’s availability for Sunday’s game, he expressed optimism 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. However, we need to see how today plays out to avoid any setbacks,” McDaniel stated. He emphasized the team’s confidence in all of their offensive linemen and their long-term approach to ensuring Armstead’s well-being.

Center Connor Williams, who has been recovering from a groin injury, did not encounter any setbacks this week. He has missed the Dolphins’ past three games but is progressing well.

McDaniel jokingly referred to Williams as “one of the more frustrated players that doesn’t play that I’ve been around,” highlighting the disappointment Williams expresses when unable to participate in games or practices. Williams laughed when asked about McDaniel’s remarks but acknowledged the frustration of not being able to play for nearly a month.

“I think to perform at this level, you need that mental space. It allows you to reach a heightened state where you can execute at a high level. Being sidelined and having to hold back, while still being around the team and serving a different role for the past couple of weeks, has been frustrating,” Williams explained.

“And perhaps that’s where the death stares come from because I’m just trying to remain as focused as possible.”

Additionally, the Dolphins will be without safety Brandon Jones, who remains in the concussion protocol and did not travel with the team.


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