Dolphins rule Tua Tagovailoa out, prep Skylar Thompson to start at QB
MIAMI — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday.
The third-year pro has been in concussion protocol since Dec. 26 after suffering his second documented concussion of the season a day earlier in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. McDaniel said Tagovailoa has not been cleared to resume any football activity and that because of the amount of time he has already missed, McDaniel was able to rule him out.
McDaniel said the Dolphins are preparing for rookie Skylar Thompson to make his third career start Sunday; Veteran Teddy Bridgewater is still working his way back from a dislocated pinky finger on his throwing hand, and his potential availability is unclear.
The team signed nine-year veteran Mike Glennon to its practice squad last week.
There has been no set timeline for Tagovailoa’s return over the past two weeks, as McDaniel said medical professionals have advised him that it’s critical that Tagovailoa “just focus on the day he’s in.” The first-year coach declined to speculate on Tagovailoa’s career, saying he is focused on the quarterback “getting to full health as a human being.”
Miami took Thompson in the seventh round in 2022 out of Kansas State, and the 25-year-old has made six appearances this season. The Dolphins’ Week 18 win over the New York Jets represented the first time he played an NFL game from start to finish, and McDaniel drew attention to the difficulty of what’s asked of the rookie.
“I’m not sure if anyone really understands the weight of what he was able to accomplish,” McDaniel said. “He’s building on the reps that he’s doing individually after practice every day, some scout team reps and then everything he did in the preseason. To jump into a fully functioning machine and then to do that — I’m very aware of the score, but we’re talking about no turnover, one sack… It was not an easy test, those who are weak would be exposed immediately.
“The way Skylar thinks, he hopes it’s the worst game he ever plays.”
At Caesars Sportsbook, the spread on the game moved from -9 Bills to -12.5 shortly after Tagovailoa was ejected and was continuing to climb Wednesday afternoon. The line, which opened in Buffalo -11 but dropped to -9 earlier in the week, was up to -13 Wednesday afternoon as the over/under total dropped from 46.5 to 43.5 on the Tagovailoa news.
Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead has missed the team’s last two games, and McDaniel said the veteran is “making progress” but that it’s still too early to determine if he’ll play this Sunday.
ESPN’s David Purdum contributed to this report.