A 2022 seventh-round pick, Thompson has taken first-team reps at practice throughout the week as Teddy Bridgewater rehabs a dislocated pinky finger on his throwing hand and Tua Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol.
McDaniel said the team remains optimistic Bridgewater will be active Sunday in a backup capacity after gradually beginning to throw the football late in the week. Bridgewater initially could not throw after injuring his finger in last week's loss to the New England Patriots.
Tagovailoa has been in the league's concussion protocol since Dec. 26 and was officially ruled out for this weekend. He hasn't practiced since sustaining a concussion against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 25.
Sunday will mark Thompson's second start and sixth appearance of the season. Neither he nor Bridgewater has finished a game they started in place of Tagovailoa -- something McDaniel has been keenly aware of throughout the week.
McDaniel added that Thompson looked in-command of the team's offense and said he hopes the rookie can break the cycle in a must-win game for Miami.
"Skylar had an outstanding week of practice," McDaniel said. "Much like Teddy, both of those guys thrive when they're able to get team reps. And so it was cool to see, I think the guys are pumped. He was diligent and communicative from the onset, confident from the onset -- and he owns the [game plan].
"I'm excited for him to get his deserved opportunity and hope he can set a 2022 season Miami Dolphins backup quarterback record of starting and finishing a game."
After entering December with an 8-3 record, the Dolphins have lost five straight games but can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Jets and a Patriots loss or tie this week. Miami has not made the playoffs since 2016, the third-longest drought in franchise history.