With the Dolphins traveling to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Thursday night, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s availability is in question.
Miami obviously isn’t conducting a normal practice week. But if the club was, head coach Mike McDaniel said on Tuesday that Tagovailoa would have been limited in practice and would be questionable for the game with his back and ankle injuries.
McDaniel noted he got a late-night call from Tagovailoa on Monday and could tell in his voice that the quarterback is going to do everything possible to play on Thursday.
“So I know if he doesn’t play, that it literally was not possible,” McDaniel said in his press conference. “And we’re just taking measures accordingly for Teddy beyond that. But happy with the way he’s, so far, progressed. And feel very optimistic because of how he’s going about it.”
McDaniel said Tagovailoa’s availability will come down to both pain tolerance and stability for the back and ankle issues.
“It’s the functionality of it because all of a sudden your back is overly tight or you feel that crazy pain — your body has a reaction process that you can all of a sudden lose power in your throws, you can’t redirect,” McDaniel said. “And once you can’t protect yourself on an NFL football field, we have to protect you. So it’s both. Yeah, there will be some pain regardless. It’s whether or not that pain hurts him from being able to put his production on the field and escape impending danger, which is part of the job of an NFL quarterback.”
The Dolphins will issue injury reports on Tuesday and Wednesday for the mid-week contest. McDaniel said he hopes to make a decision on Wednesday about whether or not Tagovailoa will play, but will take it up to Thursday if necessary.
On Monday’s injury report, which was an estimate, Tagovailoa was listed as a non-participant.
Tagovailoa’s game status — whether questionable, doubtful, or out — will be announced on Wednesday.