The Miami Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in football right now, so their bye week could not come at a worse time. While it will absolutely give the team some much-needed rest, it’s never ideal to have a two-week break in between games when the team is playing as well as it is of late.

After a 20-9 victory over the New York Giants in Week 13, the Dolphins have improved to 6-7 on the year, having won five games in a row. Miraculously, the Dolphins are not only in the playoff race but are well within striking range of the Buffalo Bills, sitting just one game behind their rivals in the division.

Considering the team started the season 1-7, their turnaround has been nothing short of spectacular. The improvement shown by young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of the season has been cause for celebration in Miami, and the bye week will give him a chance to rest up ahead of a matchup with the NFL’s worst defense in the New York Jets.

The Dolphins opted against taking a bye week after their trip to London earlier in the season, catching criticism for doing so. It was a move that seems to have paid off, however, as the team is rallying and looks energized as ever. Hopefully this extra week of rest doesn’t disrupt the momentum that has seen this team remain without a loss since Halloween.

With that in mind, here are a couple of storylines to monitor ahead of the Dolphins’ bye week.

Dolphins Storylines During Bye Week

3. Can Tua Tagovailoa stay sharp? 

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The resurgence of Tua Tagovailoa has been critical to Miami’s five-game win streak. Tagovailoa hasn’t thrown an interception in either of his last two games and has just one pick in his past four outings. Compared to the five INTs he threw in his first four games (excluding his limited appearance in Week 2), he’s made massive strides.

With that in mind, his approach to the bye week will be critical. Considering he’s playing the best football of his NFL career, he’s probably less than stoked about having to put everything on pause. Fortunately, Tagovailoa will have plenty of chance to study tape of the Jets, a defense that surrenders the most yards per game across the league. The Week 15 matchup is a blessing for the Dolphins, as a more formidable opponent may be able to do more to throw them off their rhythm.

2. Can Will Fuller return from IR in time for Week 15?

One thing that could further raise the play of Tagovailoa would be the return of one of football’s best deep threats. Will Fuller has only played in two games for the Dolphins this year, having been sidelined with a broken finger since Week 3. Fuller only has four catches this year, but has proven in previous seasons that he can be a valuable weapon on deep routes. The deep ball isn’t exactly Tagovailoa’s forte, but having a threat like Fuller racing downfield to haul in the pass could encourage the young QB to take a chance or two.

The week off could be just what the doctor ordered for Fuller to get back to 100% health and return from IR in order to wreak havoc on a feeble Jets’ secondary. While the rest of the Dolphins may not be crazy about having to take a week off, it could be the ideal outcome for Fuller as he races to suit up in Week 15.

1. Can everyone else get healthy?

The Dolphins were pretty blessed in terms of health heading into their Week 13 matchup, and avoided any significant losses during the game. Still, leading up to Sunday’s clash, as many as 12 players were listed on the injury report, including key players such as cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, safety Jevon Holland, linebacker Jaelen Phillips, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, and running back Phillip Lindsay, the latter of whom did not play. Fortunately, most of their guys were able to suit up, but getting them an extra week of rest will reduce the risk of aggravating their respective ailments.

The running back room could get a significant boost if Lindsey and Patrick Laird are able to return to full strength and offer support to Myles Gaskin. The defense, which had many key players listed on the injury report, will get a much-deserved chance to recuperate after a stretch that has seen them stunt opposing offenses to the tune of 55 total points over the team’s five-game win streak.