Tua Tagovailoa Designated to Return from Dolphins IR After Suffering Rib Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 12, 2021

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) warms before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/WIlfredo Lee)
AP Photo/WIlfredo Lee

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who landed on injured reserve after suffering bruised ribs during a Sept. 19 game against the Buffalo Bills, has been designated to return to practice.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news on Tagovailoa, who is in his second year in Miami after the Dolphins selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

With the move, Tagovailoa is also eligible to return Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, per ESPN's Field Yates.

Prior to the injury, Tagovailoa had completed 17-of-31 passes (54.8 percent completion rate), for 215 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.

He led the Dolphins to a 17-16 win over the New England Patriots in Week 1 before exiting his team's 35-0 loss to the Bills in the first quarter after getting sacked by Buffalo's A.J. Epenesa.

Six-year NFL veteran Jacoby Brissett has called signals in Tagovailoa's place since the injury.

The former New England Patriot and Indianapolis Colt quarterback has completed 65.2 percent of his passes for four touchdowns, two interceptions and 5.4 yards per attempt in Tagovailoa's absence.

The Dolphins haven't officially announced who is starting against the Jaguars from London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores offered encouraging news to reporters when he said that Tagovailoa was throwing and doing well, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Week 5 matchup with the winless Jags, who have lost 20 straight games dating back to Week 1 of the 2020 season, is a pivotal one for the Dolphins regardless of who starts at quarterback.

Miami has lost four straight to drop to 1-4, and losing a matchup to the winless Jags may extinguish any realistic hope of the Dolphins turning this season around and making a playoff run.

As it stands, the team has scored the third-fewest points in football and allowed the second-most points, so nothing is going right for a team that went 10-6 last year and was in contention for a playoff spot until the final game of the season before falling one game short.

Kickoff for the Dolphins-Jags game is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.