“We ran some tests. It’s a little bit more significant than we initially thought,” Flores said. “It’s a big loss. Preston has made a lot of plays for us over the first half of the season.”
Flores didn’t want to speculate on the length of Williams’ expected absence, but he will miss at least three games with the injury after further tests confirmed a more serious injury.
Williams appeared to suffer the foot injury while being tackled by a defensive back on his touchdown catch in Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Jakeem Grant is the most likely candidate to be elevated to the starting lineup in Williams’ absence. Veteran receiver Mack Hollins will also see an increased role, and he caught a touchdown from Tua Tagovailoa in place of Williams on Sunday. Rookie receivers Lynn Bowden Jr., Malcolm Perry and Kirk Merritt will also see more opportunities to be active on game day and contribute after Williams’ injury.
The Dolphins could also promote Antonio Callaway from the practice squad to the active roster. Callaway was activated off the suspension list after serving a 14-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy multiple times, and he was designated as one of the team’s four protected practice squad players this week.
Flores also noted that the team could shift into more two-tight-end sets without Williams, who has had 18 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns this season.