MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins are hit with a unique circumstance this week.
So unique, in fact, it’s the first of its kind in the NFL.
The Dolphins (7-3) are participating in the league’s first Black Friday game when they travel to face the AFC East rival New York Jets (4-6) in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The NFL added a 3 p.m. Friday kickoff this year, tacked on to the three Thanksgiving Thursday games that have been played since 2006, when a night game was added to the traditional Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys afternoon home games.
“I haven’t played on Friday since high school,” wide receiver Jaylen Waddle said Monday.
You and many other Dolphins, Jaylen. The NFL doesn’t traditionally do it. Maybe some players had a college game on a Friday, the way the Miami Hurricanes are playing at Boston College this week.
Most NFL teams have at least one Thursday night game every season. The Dolphins were spared that in 2023, but in place of it, their short week comes ahead of a Friday game.
“I’ve never played on a Friday,” coach Mike McDaniel said, “but in my brain, it’s a Thursday night game.”
Whether a Thursday or this rare Friday game, it’s still a cram for the team. The Dolphins will only hold one true practice, on Wednesday, in preparation for the Jets.
Then, they travel on Thanksgiving to get situated that Thursday ahead of the Friday game at MetLife Stadium.
“Definitely excited about it, but obviously we’re going to miss Thanksgiving with our family, so that kind of sucks,” wide receiver Tyreek Hill said Sunday after the 20-13 win over the Raiders. “But like I say, any (time) we get a chance to play this beautiful game of football, I’m honored, blessed, grateful, all that.”
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