JANUARY 13: McDaniel confirmed it will again be Thompson at the controls. The seventh-round pick will make his third start of the season. Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol, with McDaniel indicating (via NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe, on Twitter) he has not advanced to the on-field activity stage of the protocol. The Dolphins have not ruled out Bridgewater as a backup option for Sunday’s Bills matchup.
JANUARY 11: The Dolphins will not have their starting quarterback in their wild-card matchup with the Bills, Mike McDaniel said Wednesday. Tua Tagovailoa has not been cleared for football activities yet.
This obviously represents a tough blow for the AFC’s No. 7 seed, but it was viewed as an uphill battle for Tagovailoa — who has suffered two confirmed concussions this season — to be cleared for Miami’s first-round game. Tua has not suffered any setbacks, per McDaniel, who said (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson) “compounding variables” are in play here. This likely refers to the third-year QB’s prior injuries this season. This will be the third straight game in which the Dolphins will not have their starter available, and it will be Tagovailoa’s fifth absence this season.
As of Wednesday, the Dolphins are preparing to give third-stringer Skylar Thompson another start. But McDaniel said (via Jackson, on Twitter) Teddy Bridgewater is working toward a return. A seventh-round rookie, Thompson has struggled — as could be expected — when called upon this season. Bridgewater, who suffered a dislocated pinkie in Week 17, has not finished either of the two games he started during his first Dolphins slate. It is unlikely Bridgewater will be able to practice much this week, McDaniel said.
The Dolphins qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2016. That team’s ensuing playoff game — a loss to the Steelers — involved a backup quarterback (Matt Moore). This will bring some familiar territory for Miami, which has not won a playoff game since the 2000 season. McDaniel’s Wednesday announcement, however, likely will allow Tua extensive time to recover before his fourth NFL campaign. His third presented his highest heights as a pro but also brought concerning injury developments.
Restoring some confidence after two uneven years to start his career, Tagovailoa finished the regular season third in QBR and led the Dolphins to eight of their nine wins. He also fared well in the Dolphins’ narrow loss to the Bills in Buffalo. But head injuries interrupted the Alabama product, who had aimed to return in time for a wild-card outing.
Tagovailoa displayed concussion-like symptoms in Week 3 against the Bills, and while the young southpaw returned to action shortly after that sequence, an NFLPA investigation into the Dolphins’ handling of that situation led to an overhaul of the NFL’s concussion protocol. Tagovailoa entered the protocol four days later, after being stretchered off the field in Cincinnati, and was again placed in the revised protocol a day after sustaining an unspotted concussion against Green Bay on Christmas Day.
Bridgewater, 30, would be the Dolphins’ best bet against the heavily favored Bills, but the veteran almost certainly will not be at 100% even if he does see action Sunday. Thompson completed 20 of 31 passes against the Jets’ tough pass defense, averaging just 4.9 yards per attempt. The Kansas State product has completed 57% of his throws this season.
29 comments on “Tua Tagovailoa To Miss Wild-Card Game”
He needs to retire. Far more important things in life than going brain dead to play in the NFL.
And before your mid 20’s.
Hecwill be a old man in his 30s.
The NFL is needs to protect TUA from himself. Thankfully the doctors are making this call. Plenty of criticism if they played him.
I hate the Dolphins. But I sincerely feel for Tua. This is likely his best shot to prove himself legit. He will likely never get another franchise QB opportunity or opportunity for that really large contract. (I think) He does seem like a good kid.
People tend to forget how horrifying his hip injury was at Alabama. Now he’s had repeated concussions. You’re right. I’d worry about what his middle age years are going to look like at this point, if not sooner
Time to enjoy the memories you made and enjoy life
The NFL and NFLPA really need to iron out the concussion spotting identification and protocols so that “unspotted concussions” become less frequent. They also need follow up procedures. If a player receives a concussion, they might not show symptoms right away. They could show symptoms at halftime, after a game, the next day. This is what makes concussions so scary and unpredictable.
much like testing for Marijuana, the problem would run rampant if covered properly.
they just need to pretend and deny
What a pity the Jets let the Dolphins beat them. Without Tua, this Dolphins team is going nowhere in the playoffs.
The Steelers would have been a much more deserving Wild Card and stood a (slim) chance to win some games.
As a Steelers fan, I obviously feel similarly. However, it’s an even greater pity that Pittsburgh could not have pulled through against any of the Jets, Patriots, or Dolphins earlier in the season to avoid such a situation
for Highsmiths sake , Steelers are lucky they aren’t playing the Bills this week.
that story would’ve gotten repeated coverage all week
Steelers definitely hotter(7-2 down the stretch) but the 1st 7 weeks just absolutely KILLED them! Losses to Pats, Jets and Dolphins(by combined 13 points) did them in! They also had a chance to show they could hang @BUFF Week 5 and got stomped 38-3, sure things would likely be different now, but they had their chances and unfortunately just couldn’t gel with the rookie QB soon enough!
Thanks to Mitch and Watt being out. Gotta say that 1st Ravens game is one I want back too. I really wanted to see how this team would battle a top team like the Bills, since they really haven’t played any great teams since they turned the season around. They did play the bengals, but the turnaround wasn’t as in motion as it’s been the last few weeks. Defense is playing better and the run game has been thriving. But again, is that all because the teams they’re playing?
The issue with the Steelers was the rookie quarterback. Pickett should be very good with time (he was great at Pitt) but it took him some time to find his sea legs. Understandable. 9-8 is not bad for a down season. Tomlin is a heck of a coach to maintain that kind of consistency over decades.
Agreed. The Steelers progressed. There’s real optimism going into next season. But I’m not sure they’d be able to compete with teams like the Bills or Chiefs just yet
Have to hope they intend to beef up the lines on both sides of the ball, get an inside linebacker and strong DB through the draft and free agency.
Interesting read today in the PG that Tomlin and Kahn will provide Pickett an opportunity to discuss Matt Canada
Let’s face it, his kind of play calling—jet sweeps, dinks and dunks—isn’t going to fool the likes of the big boys
by not making the playoffs they moved up about 4 spots in round 1
team will look much different if they can ever run block for najee
ppl blame MC, but he never had the simple option of run up the middle for positive yardage
Sorry. Maybe you don’t watch a lot of Steelers games. While that comment about Najee was especially true last year, when he, the ball and the entire defensive line often met at the same time, the o-line improved somewhat this past season to the point where a healthy Najee ran hard over those last few games
The “people blame MC” comment can’t rely simply on a bad and now, slightly improved offensive line, however. The constant short passes, the jet sweeps, the unimaginative play calling that fails to utilize talents of guys like Pickens—the guy is overmatched. And yet, I fear we’ll have more of the same in ‘23
Look around and see what exciting offenses can do. Heck, take a look at the Lions, another .500 team.
Being predictable is a deadly sin in this league. The shame seems to be that there are many good assistants who don’t last under Tomlin (and no, I am not anti-Tomlin).
The draft, free agency will be important. So will the idea of upgrading the coaching staff
why do you think he’s running short passes and jet sweeps?
cuz they couldn’t run up the middle.
while it slightly improved in protecting Kenny , we actually didn’t see that great of running lanes in the final 2 games .. more just najee and Warren running with wreckless abandonment
Agree with your last paragraph. And for my money, Pickett still has way too much pressure every time he drops back
But let’s compare O-lines, shall we? Let’s take what Burrow plays in front of in Cincinnati for instance. They’ve improved over last year, too
Compare the run attack. Compare the weapons at receiver and tight end
Then look at play calling
Whether we’re talking deep routes or elementary slants over the middle, the Bengals continually utilize their weapons
The Steelers do not
Goku, I generally respect your insights but in this regard, you’re using false equivalence to justify the play calling of an overmatched OC
He’s not Whisenhunt, not Arians, not Haley by any stretch of the imagination. But someone needs to sit down with him to compare some tape
well trust me, I never thought I’d see myself as a Matt Canada apologist , but I always try to look at things objectively.
no coach or coordinator wants to work with a rookie qb. it was a tall task once they mitch was as raw as can be. , and you better believe that they’re thrilled with how fast Kenny P was able to pick up on things.
Despite plenty of crucial drops by Dionte and Claypool , inevitable un-touched pass rushers leading to throw-away plays, and poorly timed jet sweeps and failed gadgetry drawn up by MC ,
The steelers wohs all point to being unable to avg 5 ypc on basic runs up the middle.
this especially evident in the Red Zone, where 5 yards makes a big difference; and also the passing window tightens up significantly as the field shrinks.
so you’re tasking a rookie QB with picking up 3rd and goal from the 9 , and wondering why the offense can’t score.
it’s not apples to apples.. oranges have less hectic red zones because they can bully extra yards up-the-middle, and make it 3rd and goal from the 3 instead of 9.
All good points. Agreed. The only caveat here is that Canada had Roethlisberger in 2021 and it was much the same offense
Perhaps you’re right, though. Perhaps they’ll draft or sign some big O-Line studs that change Canada’s latitude
As a random fan, it strikes me though that he is entirely predictable with his play calls, right down to 5 yard out patterns when it’s 3rd and 10
while I do agree that I wasn’t thrilled with the game flow in many cases,
what you describe is what you do see in a west coast offense.
with most teams switching to mostly zone coverage , we see a lot of pre-determined passes to the gaps.
I do think Kenny could absolutely improve reading his 2nd options for potentially more yardage, even when 1A is open ..
and while I do agree we saw some of the worst of MC in Ben’s final season, 2021 also was the absolute worst we’ve seen the pocket, and an immobile Roethlisberger just had to get it out of there.
I’m fine with MC hitting the road, but I think we have to prepare for him sticking around, and look at why that’s the case (other than politics or salary, which are also both factors)
Bye Bye Fins- Going to be ugly with Skylar Thompson. He looked scared against the JETS at home. Wait until he plays at Buffalo…..
What happened to Teddy “two gloves”?????
Reading is a basic life skill that so many people are lacking in. Fund education for the love of Amon-Ra.
Sarcasm is the basic skill that duds don’t understand. Teddy “two gloves” was great for the Phins this year.. Lasted one play against the JETS (awesome), played well against the Patriots (laughable), and he looked like a pro-bowler against the Bengals (laughing louder). How about getting injured in practice…. WASTE OF MONEY…
Bridgewater has always been reasonably talented and incredibly fragile. Contact football is not his game.
I dunno. Bridgewater is another guy who plays in the league but has never been the same since a horrible injury
I get that guys don’t want to let go. The money. The fame and the game. But what do these guys look like as they get older?
Bridgewater has averaged over $6 million per year mostly not to play football. After Carolina wanted to renegotiate his contract, Bridgewater should probably have refused and let them pay the dead money and not have put his cleats on again.
As it says in the article he dislocated his pinkie in game 17.
Mock draft time for Dolphins fans.