The Miami Dolphins backed into the postseason with their performance down the stretch this season. They defeated the New York Jets 9-6 in Week 18 to clinch the final Wild Card spot over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Cleveland Browns. Both teams were alive courtesy of the Buffalo Bills defeating the New England Patriots.
A Bills team that the Dolphins were pulling for last weekend is now who they will be preparing to face off against during Super Wild Card Weekend. They are scheduled to play Sunday afternoon, which is good news for Miami, as they have multiple key players dealing with injuries.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol, which he entered on December 26th. He has not yet been cleared for football activity and his status is unknown as the team is hoping to get some updates later in the week.
On a positive note, Tagovailoa has not suffered any setbacks. Alas, that is not changing the plan of taking things day by day, which head coach Mike McDaniel reiterated once again this week.
“When he’s cleared to practice, he will practice,” McDaniel said. “Until then, I’m not doing anything.”
If Tagovailoa is unable to start for a third consecutive game it will be either seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson or veteran Teddy Bridgewater under center. Bridgewater has gotten injured in each of his two starts in place of Tagovailoa this season, suffering a concussion on the first play against the Jets in Week 5 and a dislocated right pinkie in Week 17 against the New England Patriots.
Along with Tagovailoa, the status of running back Raheem Mostert is up in the air. He suffered a broken thumb against the Jets and was seen wearing a cast on it as he left the stadium.
“It’s a serious injury; it’s hard to know if he’ll be able to play this week,” McDaniel said. “I never put anything past Raheem Mostert … but it is a significant break of his thumb.”
Surgery is reportedly scheduled for Monday on his thumb, so it would certainly be shocking if he was back on the field any time soon. The status of two starting offensive linemen is also unknown for Sunday.
Left tackle Terron Armstead has missed the last two games and could very well miss a third. Right tackle Brandon Shell also left Sunday’s win with knee and ankle injuries and was unable to return.