The Dolphins confirmed Tagovailoa is inactive for the contest, with Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reporting there's "nothing broken" in the thumb but that there is "swelling and weakness," which forced him to sit out. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in his place.
Tagovailoa began this season as Miami's backup behind Fitzpatrick. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft made his professional debut late in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins' 24-0 win over the New York Jets in Week 6.
Coming out of the bye two weeks later, Tagovailoa was named Miami's starter. He won each of his first three starts, throwing for 510 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions in those games.
After struggling for three quarters in Week 11 against the Denver Broncos, Tagovailoa was benched in favor of Fitzpatrick.
The Dolphins are fortunate to have Fitzpatrick, who is a proven veteran with starting experience under his belt, on their roster. Tagovailoa's injury history dating back to Alabama is a concern and a reason for Miami to be cautious until he's completely healthy.