When the Miami Dolphins take the field at Highmark Stadium this Sunday for their third meeting with the Buffalo Bills this season, they will be doing it without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Miami head coach Mike McDaniel has already ruled the third-year quarterback out for Sunday’s Super Wild Card Weekend matchup, saying that he hasn’t been able to clear concussion protocol.
Dolphins’ HC Mike McDaniel ruled out Tua Tagovailoa for Sunday’s game vs. Buffalo. He still has not cleared concussion protocol.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2023
Tagovailoa, who is suffering from his second documented — but third suspected — concussion this season, has been in the league’s five-phase protocol since December 28 after having suffered a concussion in the Dolphins’ Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Miami quarterback spent time in the league’s concussion protocol in October after a very scary collision during the Dolphins’ Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury came just a week after he had suffered what the team said was a back injury following a hard hit from Bills’ linebacker Matt Milano that left Tagovailoa shaky on his feet.
Tagovailoa missed two games during his first stint in concussion protocol this season, and this week will be his third straight game missed this time around.
Miami will now be moving forward with third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson at the helm of an offense that could also be without their top running back, Raheem Mostert, who is dealing with a broken thumb.
McDaniel said Skylar is the starting quarterback today but Bridgewater is still working "to prepare himself to be capable on Sunday" to play but "cannot afford any setbacks."— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 11, 2023
Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater injured his throwing hand late in the third quarter of the Dolphins’ loss to the New England Patriots in Week 17, and was unable to play in the season finale win over the New York Jets.
According to Pro Football Talk, it is suspected that Bridgewater broke a finger during a play that resulted in a New England pick-six. Film review showed that the quarterback hit his hand on a helmet in the process of making the throw, and then later attempted to make a tackle using his throwing arm.
Thompson took over for Bridgewater during the New England game and went 12-of-21 with one touchdown and one interception. He then started the Week 18 game for the Dolphins, and completed 20-of-31 pass attempts for 152 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Miami’s 11-6 win over the Jets. That win earned them a spot in the playoffs.