The Miami Dolphins‘ decision whether to start Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett against the Baltimore Ravens will likely not be made until Thursday, the day of the game. Dolphins coach Brian Flores told reporters Tuesday that the cracked middle finger on Tagovailoa’s throwing hand is still causing him discomfort. And if the game was held Tuesday instead of Thursday, Brissett would again start for the Dolphins.
Tua Tagovailoa injury update
Flores said Tagovailoa, who was active against the Texans Sunday but did not play because he couldn’t make all of the throws, is “definitely making progress.”
“He’s got a little fracture in the finger, and there’s definitely discomfort,” Flores said. “It’s getting better. The swelling is down. Progress from last week. But there are still some limitations for sure.”
During his Tuesday media availability, Flores added, “We’re 48 hours from the game, so there’s still time. If the game was tonight, it would be Jacoby. That’s kind of where we’re at.”
The decision to start Tua or Brissett will ultimately belong to Flores, but there are a number of factors involved, including medical and competitive advantage. The Dolphins might ultimately decide that a 100% healthy Brissett can operate the offense better than an 80% healthy Tua.
Tagovailoa’s practice status
The Dolphins’ first practice of the week wasn’t until Tuesday evening. They held a walkthrough on Monday but still had to submit an injury report to the league approximating who would have done what if they had indeed practiced. Miami listed Tua as a limited participant — the same designation he held all three days last week.
“He threw [Monday],” Flores said. “He looked good. He’s making some progress. Still somewhat limited. So we’re just going to take it day to day and see how he looks today, tomorrow, and probably take it right up to the day of the game.”
Tagovailoa has missed four games due to injury this year and five in his career. That has added fuel to the argument that he’s not built to withstand the rigors of professional football. This narrative began during his time at Alabama when he had surgery on both ankles and suffered a season-ending hip injury late in his junior year.
“Availability is a big part of playing in this league, and I think that goes without saying,” Flores said Monday. “I think Tua is a tough kid. I think he does everything he can to be out there. He’s had a couple unfortunate injuries this year, but when he’s been in there, he’s played well. He’s a tough kid. He wants to be out there, and he’s going to do everything he can to get out there.”