The 2023 Miami Dolphins have been plagued by injuries beginning in training camp in July. Throughout the season, starters, key rotational players, depth options, everyone has seemed to be bitten by the injury bug at some point. Everyone except quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the player national analysts spent the offseason stating was too small, too injury prone, and too delicate to make it through a full NFL season.
Through the first 16 weeks of the season, there was Tagovailoa, taking every meaningful snap for the Dolphins, getting hit, getting right back up, and showing no signs of any issues. Late in the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, however, Tagovailoa took a hit, got back up, but was favoring his left arm and shoulder.
The Dolphins pulled Tagovailoa out of the game, but the game was already out of hand and there was no reason to keep him in the contest. There is no way to know if he would have been able to play if the score was closer and the Dolphins needed him back under center.
After the game, Tagovailoa seemed to indicate he would be ready to play in Week 18 as the Dolphins face the Buffalo Bills with the AFC East division title on the line. “Shoulder is good, shoulder is good. Just a little sore, that’s all,” he stated.
“I ran, slid, and then there was contact,” he explained of what happened on the play. No penalty was called on the play, despite Tagovailoa sliding.
The NFL announced at the end of Week 17 that the Bills at Dolphins game will be played as the Sunday Night Football game to end Week 18. Tagovailoa will hopefully be fully recovered and ready to play by then.