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Vikings vs. Dolphins injury report: Tua Tagovailoa limited in return to practice

SPORTS-FBN-DOLPHINS-QBS-FL John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins released their first injury report of Week 6, updating the status of 18 players on their roster. The Dolphins report, as long as it is, is headlines by quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater, both of whom are working their way through the concussion protocols. In comparison, Miami’s opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, listed just four players on their side of the report.

The Dolphins had five players not practice on Wednesday, though one of those, linebacker Melvin Ingram, was given a veteran rest day and was not injury related. Offensive tackle Terron Armstead, who has been trying to play through a toe injury for most of the season, sat out Wednesday’s practice, but he is thought to be on track to start on Sunday. Running back Raheem Mostert sat out Wednesday with a knee injury and tight end Durham Smythe missed the practice with a hamstring issue.

The last non-participant for the Dolphins was Bridgewater. He was removed from the team’s game against the New York Jets on Sunday after a spotter determined he stumbled following a hit on the first offensive play of the game for Miami. Video after the play never showed a stumble, but under the changed concussion protocol - adjusted following the injury to Tagovailoa - Bridgewater was ruled out of the game and entered into the concussion protocol. He has not shown any signs of a concussion, but he remains in the protocols. He is also listed as having a right pectoral muscle injury.

Limited participants in the practice included Tagovailoa, who returned to the field for the first time since his Week 4 concussion. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said before the practice, “[W]hat I’ve been told as he can go out and throw and do some individual work this week, or today. So that’s exciting for everybody, just because really, we just miss his personality. He’s a guy that we rely on, not to mention all of his play and all that stuff. Now when talking about this week and playing, I don’t see a scenario – I don’t see him being active and I’m not going to – I do not plan to have him play at all. It’s something that this whole process is a little tricky and today he’s just getting back to playing football for the first time in two weeks. He hasn’t been on a field playing football in two weeks. So today the focus is – again, I’m not trying to get ahead of myself and think about the ‘Z’ component. I’m worried about ‘A’ and ‘A’ is getting him on the field and having him throw a football and being around his teammates. And that’s what today’s step is and then moving forward we’ll go about 12 to 24 hours, right? But I can say with certainty that he’s not going to be playing this Sunday.”

While McDaniel has ruled out Tagovailoa, the fact that he is returning to practice and starting to do any football activities is a great sign in his recovery from a scary looking injury.

Cornerback Xavien Howard was also limited in practice as he tries to return from issues with both groin muscles. Asked about Howard and Armstead, McDaniel stated, “’X’ (Xavien Howard) and Armstead need the whole week. You’ll see ‘X’ out there today. I don’t think you’ll see Armstead, but that’s one of those situations that it’s kind of become the norm, hasn’t it? But we just kind of have to take it day by day. So I know they’ll do the best they can to move forward and play the game because I know it’s eating at them.”

Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah was limited on the day as part of a veteran rest day.

Also limited were defensive back Elijah Campbell (foot), safety Clayton Fejedelem (ankle/knee), offensive lineman Robert Jones (back), cornernback Kaden Kohou (oblique), and defensive lineman Zach Sieler (hand).

The team listed tight end Tanner Conner (knee), wide receiver Tyreek Hill (foot), safety Brandon Jones (chest), tackle Greg Little (hip), and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (groin) on the report, but they were all full participants. “He’ll be out there today. He’s going to get some work in, and he won’t be practicing with a boot on,” McDaniel joked about Hill’s recovery from an injury that had him leave Sunday’s game in a walking boot.

For the Vikings, cornerback Akayleb Evans (concussion), running back Alexander Mattison (shoulder), and linebacker Za’Darius Smith (knee) were all limited in practice. Wide receiver Jalen Nailor was a full participant on Wednesday, but is listed with a hamstring injury.

The Dolphins and Vikings kickoff on Sunday from Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium at 1 p.m. ET.