Tagovailoa ruled out to play against Bills in playoffs

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has not been cleared to return to sports activities and was ruled out of Sunday’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills while remaining in the NFL’s concussion protocol, coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday.

The Dolphins are preparing for rookie Skylar Thompson to start when they face the Bills for the third time this season. Backup Teddy Bridgewater is working to return to his full capacity after dislocating his little finger.

McDaniel said he doesn’t know if Tagovailoa will be available to travel with the team this weekend, and while he hasn’t had any setbacks in his recovery, there are “compound variables” at play that will keep him off the field indefinitely. .

“He is learning himself that he needs to listen to the advice of doctors and medical professionals,” McDaniel said. “He understands the severity of doing that, so there are some things he can’t control.”

Tagovailoa was diagnosed with his second concussion of the season after the loss to Green Bay and missed the Dolphins’ final two games of the regular season.

He had already missed two games earlier in the season when he suffered a concussion in week four against Cincinnati in a frightening move, taking a hit that knocked him unconscious for a moment. That was four days after he was allowed to return to a match in which he appeared apparently disoriented after taking a hit.

Days later, the NFL changed the concussion protocol to require that if a player shows symptoms of concussion, including an inability to maintain balance or stability, they must rest for the remainder of the game.

McDaniel declined to say if there are concerns about Tagovailoa’s long-term health or if there have been considerations of how head injuries will affect the third-year quarterback’s NFL career.

Thompson, making his second start of the season, completed 20 of 31 passes for 152 yards without a turnover in an 11-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

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