The Miami Dolphins lost to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football as Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season came to a close. But for the AFC East leaders, the loss to their offensive line may prove bigger in how Miami’s season ends — including their Week 18 rematch with the Buffalo Bills — than the loss on the scoreboard.
Center Connor Williams went down in the first quarter, and on Tuesday head coach Mike McDaniel announced that testing has shown the veteran center tore his ACL. Just a year ago, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t stay healthy and on the field as he struggled with a series of concussions that put his health in serious jeopardy. A concentrated effort by Tagovailoa and the Dolphins has resulted in the quarterback not missing a single game this season. In fact, Tagovailoa had only been sacked 17 times all season before Monday night’s game. After Williams exited the game with just four minutes having expired from the game clock, Tagovailoa was sacked five times over the next three and a half quarters of play — the most of any game this season (he was sacked four times by the Bills back in Week 4).
Williams, who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, has been with the Dolphins for two seasons. It will now be up to Liam Eichenberg, who has spent all three years of his career in Miami, to anchor the offensive line and try to keep Tagovailoa upright as they cling to a two-game lead over Buffalo.
It’s important to note that should the Dolphins lose one more game, and the Bills not, their Week 18 meeting will be for the division title — something Buffalo has owned for the past three seasons but just two weeks ago looked like might be out of reach this season.