Dolphins Make Final Decision On Tua Tagovailoa Against Bills

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
NFL Analysis Network

The Miami Dolphins snuck into the postseason after a late-season swoon put their chances in jeopardy. They picked up an ugly victory over the New York Jets in Week 18 to qualify, just barely holding off the hard-charging Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Cleveland Browns but lost on a tiebreaker as the Dolphins won the head-to-head matchup.

If Miami wants their season to last more than one extra week, they are going to have to play a whole lot better than they did against the Jets. While the defense was up to the task of slowing down an anemic Jets attack led by Joe Flacco, the offense sputtered once again.

The Dolphins managed only three field goals on offense, winning the game 11-6 after the Jets’ lateral attempts resulted in a safety to end the game. That kind of performance won’t cut it against the high-powered Buffalo Bills

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, offense may be hard to come by again. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for the game on Sunday afternoon by head coach Mike McDaniel. 

Tagovailoa has been in concussion protocol since December 26th, the second time he has officially been documented with a concussion this season. The injury was suffered against the Green Bay Packers in Week 16 on Christmas Day, but Tagovailoa finished the game as he didn’t show symptoms until the following day.

Clearance has not yet been given for Tagovailoa to return to football activities, so McDaniel ruled him out as he wouldn’t have enough time to get up to speed. With him out for a third consecutive game, it will be either veteran Teddy Bridgewater or rookie Skylar Thompson under center for Miami.

Thompson is being prepped to make his third career start as Bridgewater is dealing with a broken pinky to his right throwing hand. The status for him and Tagaovailoa was grim enough that veteran Mike Glennon was signed to the practice squad last week.

“I’m not sure if anyone really understands the gravity of what he was able to accomplish,” McDaniel said. “He’s banking on reps that he’s doing individually after practice every single day, some scout team reps and then everything he did in the preseason. To jump into a fully operating machine and then to do it — I’m very aware of the score but we’re talking about no turnovers, one sack …It was no easy test. Those who are weak would be exposed, immediately.

“The way Skylar thinks, he hopes it’s the worst game he ever plays.”

Thompson looked more poised and in control in his Week 18 start compared to when he was thrust into action in Week 5 and started in Week 6. But, the offense still struggled to move the ball against the Jets and things won’t get any easier against a stout Bills unit.

Some help for Thompson could be on the way as veteran left tackle Terron Armstead is making progress. He has missed the last two games and has a chance to play, but no determination has been made by McDaniel about his availability.

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