Sunday was a historic day for one Miami Dolphins rookie. A Christian Wilkins touchdown made history for the defensive lineman.
Or was it a catch, fumble, and recovery for a touchdown? Either way, the Dolphins rookie now joins former Chicago Bears defensive star William “Refrigerator” Perry in the history books.
Christian Wilkins touchdown catch, or was it?
Wilkins checks in at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, which helps him battle in the trenches against the opposing offensive linemen. However, the Dolphins pulled off an impressive play where he was in on offense and left open for a touchdown pass.
The highlight of his young career came in just the first quarter of Miami’s home game against the Cincinnati Bengals. With Miami on a second-and-goal situation, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was facing quick pressure but fired to his right where open defensive lineman Christian Wilkins was there to make a catch.
Wilkins would drop the ball almost as quickly as he caught it, but had already crossed into the endzone. He snatched the ball up off the field in what may have been a fumble and recovery.
Wilkins was the Dolphins’ No. 13 pick back in the 2019 NFL Draft after a standout college career at Clemson. Ironically, the only other rookie defensive lineman in the league’s Super Bowl era to score a receiving touchdown in a game also went to Clemson.
Per the Miami Dolphins, William “Refrigerator” Perry (back in the Super Bowl in 1985) was the only other rookie DL to have done so until Wilkins’ touchdown on Sunday.
With his first-quarter touchdown catch, @MiamiDolphins DT Christian Wilkins joined William "The Refrigerator" Perry as the only rookie defensive linemen with a touchdown reception in the Super Bowl era. #NFL100 #CINvsMIA pic.twitter.com/xtz99MeVDT
— NFL345 (@NFL345) December 22, 2019
Wilkins talked about the highlight play after his team’s victory on Sunday, joking about his stats.
“This is pretty cool,” the Dolphins rookie said. “I just want to say that I’m clearly the best receiver in the league right now. I’m 1-for-1 for 1.”
“Every time I touch the ball I score. I’m 100 percent in reception percentage. I don’t know anyone else in the league who’s got that. So clearly I’m the best. I challenge anybody,” Wilkins joked with the media.
Ryan Fitzpatrick comments on throwing to Wilkins
Miami would grab the tough win in overtime 38-35 in a battle of two teams within the top of the 2020 NFL Draft order. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 31-for-52, throwing for 419 yards and four touchdowns including the early highlight pass involving Wilkins.
After the game, the Dolphins quarterback was asked if he’s practiced that particular play with Wilkins. He spoke about Wilkins’ athleticism and being comfortable with the situation that came up on Sunday.
Dolphins Live: Ryan Fitzpatrick meets with the media. https://t.co/GlzDcJ0md9
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 22, 2019
“I’ve probably thrown it to him once, maybe twice. The first time I threw it to him, I threw it as hard as I could, not that that’s real fast, I threw it as hard as I could just to see what kind of athlete he was. I think we all knew what kind of athlete he was, but it’s natural, he’s a natural pass catcher so very comfortable with him in that situation and he did a nice job. That’s fun for everybody,” Fitzpatrick said.
While the Miami Dolphins are nowhere near the playoffs this season, they’re certainly having plenty of fun on the field. In a previous winning effort against the Philadelphia Eagles, they employed a sweet trick play involving their punter and kicker for a TD pass.
Basically, Miami is putting all opponents on notice that they never know just who might come up with a score in the endzone.