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Tua Tagovailoa Not Expected to Play in Dolphins vs. Buccaneers Preseason Game

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 11, 2022

Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins appear to be leaning against playing starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday evening, although that decision is not final nor official.

NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe relayed remarks from Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel Thursday indicating that the third-year NFL pro would likely be out based on Tagovailoa's good practice form of late.

Cameron Wolfe @CameronWolfe

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel indicates he’s leaning toward Tua Tagovailoa not playing in preseason opener Saturday vs. Bucs after liking what he’s seen over last couple of practices. No final decision yet though McDaniel also indicated he expects Tua to play in preseason.

Tagovailoa would have two more chances to play preseason games if he does not suit up against the Bucs. Miami will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Aug. 20 before welcoming the Philadelphia Eagles into town one week later. The regular season opens on Sept. 11 against the New England Patriots.

Tagovailoa got a good review for his practice work from Alain Poupart of All Dolphins, who provided a report Wednesday from a joint session with the Bucs.

"Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was very efficient running the offense and taking what the defense was giving him. By our calculations, he completed 14 of 19 passes in team periods and did some nice work in the two-minute drill to get the Dolphins in field goal position (even though that ended poorly). There were no highlight bombs like we've seen at times in practice, but Tagovailoa was on target on most of his throws."

It's a year of transition for Tagovailoa, who is now working with a new head coach and offensive mastermind (Mike McDaniel), a new No. 1 wide receiver (Tyreek Hill) and a few new starting offensive linemen (Terron Armstead, Connor Williams).

On paper, all of those changes look like good additions as Miami looks to improve upon the No. 22 scoring offense in the NFL last year.

It should also help the development of a young quarterback in Tagovailoa, whose career has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start.

Football analyst Warren Sharp provided more information:

Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

brutal way to start career<br><br>2020<br>✅hip injury rehab<br>✅remote mtgs<br>✅no QB1 reps<br>✅70-yr old OC<br>✅OFF designed for another QB<br><br>2021<br>✅broken ribs wk 2<br>✅broken finger on throwing hand wk 8<br><br>both yrs<br>✅worst OL in NFL<br>✅WRs had worst separation in NFL<br>✅1 of worst run games in NFL <a href="https://t.co/QazT29vm1U">pic.twitter.com/QazT29vm1U</a>

Now he's receiving far more support, providing a far more rosier picture for 2022.

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