Tua Tagovailoa will not be returning for the Dolphins’ wild-card game against the Bills.
Miami head coach Mike McDaniel ruled the third-year quarterback out of the playoff matchup on Wednesday, as he has not been cleared for football activities after suffering multiple concussions this season – most recently in the Week 16 game against the Packers.
“It’s very frustrating for Tua,” McDaniel told reporters, according to The Palm Beach Post. “He wants to be with his team for the playoffs.”
Teddy Bridgewater, the team’s backup quarterback, appears unlikely to be ready to play as well after suffering a finger injury the following week against the Patriots. So, the team is preparing as if seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson will start.
Miami lost five straight games heading into Week 18, but slipped into a playoff spot with an ugly 11-6 victory over the Jets. Their reward is now to go into Buffalo with a third-string quarterback, who has completed 57.1 percent of his passes this year for one touchdown and three interceptions.
Tagovailoa’s playing future appears murky going forward, as he suffered a number of high-profile head injuries throughout the year. He was transported to the hospital after slamming his head on the ground in a game against the Bengals. A week earlier – in a victory over the Bills – he appeared wobbly while standing up after taking a hit from linebacker Matt Milano. He briefly left that game with what the Dolphins claimed was a back injury.
“Tua is learning that he needs to listen to the advice of doctors and medical professionals, he understands the severity of doing that,” McDaniel said.
Tagovailoa was placed in the concussion protocol again after the Packers game despite having finished the whole contest. He has yet to play since.
The Bills went from being a nine-point betting favorite to being -13.5 at some books after the quarterback decision was announced.
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