As a Kansas City rookie, Tyreek Hill handled all point returns for the Chiefs, and he was outstanding: Hill led the NFL that year in point return yards, average, and touchdowns. But the Chiefs quickly decided Hill was too valuable on the offensive to risk getting injured on special teams, and took him out of his return shift.
Now the Dolphins are faced with the question of whether Hill should play on special teams, and at this point they seem undecided.
Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier said Hill’s first request when he became a Dolphin was to return points.
“Tyreek, the first thing he said was I wanted to make sure I’m back and would come back a few times every game,” Grier said via the Palm Beach Post†
Last year, safety Jevon Holland was the Dolphins’ main returnee, and they also had wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to handle some of the returns. Grier said the Dolphins have plenty of players who can do it.
“We’re lucky with him, Holland, Waddle,” Grier said. “We have guys who can do it. They also all make great contributions to their side of the ball. And we also have a few other guys who can return. So we’re not really worried about the return game.”
But what the Chiefs could be concerned about are back-game injuries. NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said the league has identified point return as one of the most dangerous positions on the pitch. Point returners have far more injuries per game than wide receivers. The Dolphins may decide they cannot risk Hill sustaining a serious injury when returning a punt, and deny his request.