Dolphins rule Dua Tagovailo, prepare Skylar Thompson to start at QB

MIAMI — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday that he will not participate in Sunday’s wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills.

The third-year pro has been in concussion protocol since Dec. 26 after suffering his second documented concussion of the season the previous day in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. McDaniel said Tagovailoa was not allowed to resume any form of football activity and because of the time he had already missed, McDaniel was able to avoid him.

McDaniel said the Dolphins are preparing for the rookie Skylar Thompson To start his third career on Sunday; senior Teddy Bridgewater He’s still working his way back from a dislocated pinky finger on his throwing hand, and his availability is unclear.

The team signed a nine-year veteran Mike Glennon to its practice squad last week.

While there was no timetable for Tagovailoa’s return for the past two weeks, as McDaniel said it was crucial for Tagovailo to focus on “just the day he’s there” as medical experts advised him. The first-year coach declined to speculate on Tagovailoa’s playing career, saying he is focused on “getting fully healthy as a person.”

Miami drafted Thompson in the seventh round out of Kansas State in 2022, and the 25-year-old has made six appearances this season. The Dolphins’ Week 18 win over the New York Jets marked the first time he finished playing in an NFL game.

“I don’t know if anyone really understands the gravity of what he was able to accomplish,” McDaniel said. “Every day after practice he’s doing individual reps, some scout-team reps and he’s banking on everything he’s done the season before. Jumping on a full-running machine and doing that — I know the score well, but we’re not talking about a turnover, a sack. . . . .. It is not an easy test, and the weak will be exposed immediately.

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“The way Skyler thinks, he believes this is the worst game he’s ever played.”

The Bills’ point spread went from -9 to -12.5 at Caesars Sportsbook after Tagovailoa’s layoff continued to climb Wednesday afternoon. The line opened at -11 in Buffalo, down from -9 earlier in the week, and rose to -13 Wednesday afternoon, while the over/under total dropped from 46.5 to 43.5 on the Tagovailoa news.

Pro Bowl left tackle Terran Armstead McDaniel said the veteran has missed the team’s past two games and is “improving,” but it’s still too early to determine if he’ll play this Sunday.

ESPN’s David Purdam contributed to this report.

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