Fins prepare for Skylar Thompson or Teddy Bridgewater in the finals
6:20 p.m. ET
Marcel Louis Jacques ESPN
MIAMI — Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel reiterated Monday that there is no timetable for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s return from concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa was listed last week after suffering his second documented concussion of the season in the Dolphins’ December 25 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Teddy Bridgewater started in his place during Sunday’s 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots but was forced to leave the game early after sustaining an injury to the little finger of his right hand.
Seventh-round rookie pick Skylar Thompson finished the game as quarterback, and McDaniel said he’s preparing for either Thompson or Bridgewater to start Sunday’s deciding game against the New York Jets.
“I hadn’t even thought about that [Tagovailoa’s] Game Status. It’s about him getting healthy every day,” McDaniel said. “And so I can’t even include him in any equation until we’re ready to address that. It’s just really a situation where I’ll be preparing for both Skylar and Teddy at this point of the week – pre-game Monday and Tuesday – and then continue throughout the week.
McDaniel said last week that medics advised him “it’s crucial that Tua only worry about the day he’s in and nothing else” and that he’s followed that advice.
He told reporters Monday that not only is there no set timeline for Tagovailoa’s return, but he hasn’t even begun to discuss one with the third-year quarterback.
“Specifically, as per regulation, I haven’t spoken to Tua about when he’s playing,” he said. “Because once again the picture was very much drawn … from his head coach to the player, no schedule was discussed on purpose.
“It’s really an everyday process that’s the most important thing we stick to. And that makes him better every day and healthy as a person. So I don’t really have a schedule, unfortunately.”
McDaniel added that Tagovailoa told him he felt “good” when they spoke and felt “compelled” to remind Tagovailoa that football isn’t the most prevalent concern when they speak .
McDaniel said Bridgewater injured his right pinky trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception against the Patriots. He said the finger was dislocated but doesn’t think it’s broken; The dolphins will know more once the swelling goes down. In an ideal world, he said, by Wednesday he’ll know who the team’s starter will be in a game the Dolphins must win to reach the playoffs.
Miami has also talked about adding more depth to the quarterback position in the short term.
The Dolphins started December with an 8-3 record but have since lost five games in a row. Their loss to New England on Sunday knocked them out of the playoff field, and they need to beat the Jets and Patriots to lose to the Buffalo Bills this week to end a five-year playoff drought.