Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found himself laying on the Hard Rock Stadium turf after a failed fourth-down conversion attempt in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. While failing to convert and giving the ball over to Buffalo was bad, it was the grimace on Tagovailoa’s face as he held his ribs that was more bothersome. The television coverage went to commercial, with the quarterback attempting multiple times during the break to get up and walk off the field.
He finally made it to the sideline just before the commercial break ended, but then the Dolphins decided to take him via cart back to the locker room. Officially listing it as a ribs injury, the Dolphins initially ruled Tagovailoa questionable to return. He never came back out of the locker room, however, and Jacoby Brissett finished the game.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Sunday that the initial x-rays of Tagovailoa’s ribs came back negative, with no breaks seen. He stated the team would be getting an MRI of Tagovailoa’s ribs on Monday to see if there is any underlying cartilage damage.
Now, Pelissero is reporting that the additional tests came back negative, with no major issues. Tagovailoa has bruised ribs, but nothing that should keep him out for an extended period of time. The Dolphins and Tagovailoa will work on managing the pain and ensuring he is able to fully function, and function safely, but he could be back as early as next Sunday when the Dolphins visit the Las Vegas Raiders.
If Tagovailoa cannot start against the Raiders, Miami would turn to Brissett and likely elevate Reid Sinnett from the practice squad to serve as the backup.