The NFL handed down a massive announcement on Sunday in the wake of positive COVID-19 tests involving the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots. This change resulted in a domino effect which altered the schedule for eight different teams, including the Miami Dolphins.
Sunday’s announcement revealed eight different changes to the 2020 schedule, affecting games in Weeks 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11, as well as the shifting of bye weeks.
NFL schedule changes: pic.twitter.com/MzqhYgJ8n4
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 11, 2020
Dolphins Schedule Changes
For the Dolphins, the league’s decision to push back the Broncos-Patriots game by a week knocked over the dominos for the Fins. Instead of a road game in Denver next week, the Dolphins will now host the New York Jets. In the original 2020 schedule, Miami faced the Jets in back-to-back games (Week 10, Week 12) with a bye in between.
Considering the Jets’ 0-5 record and struggles overall, Miami could enter their bye with a 3-3 mark. After a week that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick lead Miami to a win over the 49ers, another win could further delay the eventual turn to Tua Tagovailoa as starting quarterback.
After the new bye week in Week 7, Miami will host the Los Angeles Rams (4-1) in Week 8. Then, in Week 9, the Dolphins travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals (3-2). Both of those contests were unchanged from the original schedule. For Week 10, Miami will host the Los Angeles Chargers (1-3), a game originally scheduled for Week 7. From there, the Dolphins Week 11 contest will be in Denver against the Broncos (1-3).
“It’s a different year, and everyone has t adjust and be flexible,” said Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. “We just have to adapt.”
Flores revealed he met with the club before the game against the 49ers to talk them through the schedule changes. He also mentioned the coaches have already begun breaking down film of the Jets in preparation for their next game.
It seems clear the NFL remains dead set on fully completing its regular 16-game schedule slate. This change took place early enough in the season that the league had space to rearrange contests. Should a similar situation arise closer to the end of the season, that might force the NFL to push back playoff games or even alter the playoff format.