Hill was injured late in the first quarter of “Monday Night Football”
Dolphins fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief midway through the third quarter.
After exiting with an ankle injury in the first quarter, Hill returned to the field midway through the third quarter for the Dolphins’ second drive of the second half. Miami fans greeted Hill’s return with raucous applause and more “M-V-P” chants.
The Dolphins went three-and-out on the possession and did not target Hill.
In the first quarter Hill caught a short pass behind the line of scrimmage and was dragged down out of bounds on the play.
Dolphins fans chanted “M-V-P” toward Hill as he left the field. Miami was forced to punt on the drive and Tennessee took over at their 14-yard line.
The Dolphins have endured a slew of injuries early against Tennessee.
Starting center Connor Williams, who has been among the best centers in the NFL this season, left the game after suffering an injury on Miami’s first drive. He has been downgraded to out and will not return.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and defensive back Xavien Howard were also shaken up in the first quarter but managed to return to the game.
Offensive lineman Terron Armstead and defensive back Jevon Holland were among the usual Dolphins starters on the inactive list against the Titans.
Hill got hurt when he was tackled on a catch that went for a 6-yard loss. He went down briefly and grabbed at his left leg. He began limping off the field, then ran off. Hill stood on the sideline with his helmet in his hand as the second quarter started and did not return until there were about six minutes left in the third quarter.
“I just made up my mind that it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna suck tonight and tomorrow morning, but I just went back in the game,” Hill said.
Hill came in and immediately caught passes of 23 and 25 yards to set up Jason Sanders’ 31-yard field goal that tied it at 13 at the beginning of the fourth, but he wasn’t on the field much as the Dolphins tried to rally in the closing minutes after blowing a late 14-point lead.
Miami’s offense was out of sync for much of the game, but coach Mike McDaniel didn’t want to use the excuse of not having their leading receiver.
“I think what they wanted game plan-wise was to put a shell over our team, forcing us to run the ball, forcing us to beat them that way,” said quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. “But when you have someone like Tyreek go down, it does make it tough, but when you also have a couple of your key o-linemen go down, as well, it does hurt the guys up front and sort of the way we operate.”