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Miami Dolphins top rookie Jaylen Waddle dealing with ‘limp’ at training camp

The Miami Dolphins traded a future first-round pick for the opportunity to move up and select Jaylen Waddle with the No. 6 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, there might be some reason for concern based on a recent injury update from training camp.

Starring for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Waddle suffered a fractured ankle on Oct. 24, 2020. He managed to return for the CFP National Championship, but didn’t show the same explosiveness.

Months later, confident he was close to a full recovery, Miami sent its 2022 first-round pick and the No. 12 pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 6th selection. With Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts off the board, the Dolphins reunited Waddle and Tua Tagovailoa.

Tim Tebow is now playing tight end for the Jaguars.

According to Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley, the surgically-repaired right ankle is still an issue nine months after the original injury. He is practicing, even overcoming another scare during a recent session, but there are concerns about some movement and explosiveness.

“But Waddle, even now, still at times walks with a limp. There are some within the organization who believe he doesn’t yet have the full explosiveness that made him such a weapon at Alabama and the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft.”

Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley on Miami DOlphins WR Jaylen Waddle

Waddle didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Before he arrived at Alabama, reports suggested he timed at 4.37 coming out of high school and he was one of the fastest players in college football.

  • Jaylen Waddle stats (2020): 591 receiving yards, four touchdowns and 21.1 yards per catch in six games

Miami specifically drafted him to provide an explosive element to this offense, especially deep downfield. If he is even a step slower, which training camp reports suggest, that is a concern. But it’s not the only issue the Dolphins are facing.

Will Fuller, signed this offseason, suffered an undisclosed injury early in training camp. On top of that, fellow receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams opened on the physically unable to perform list. Even if they return in a few weeks, those are valuable reps missed with Tagovailoa.

For a team that entered training camp high in Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings, the Dolphins are already running into problems with new concerns arising.