The Miami Dolphins officially listed Tua Tagovailoa as questionable to play Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals due to back and ankle injuries, but the third-year quarterback is expected to play, per NFL Media. Tagovailoa did not practice Monday, but was a limited participant Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tagovailoa said Wednesday that. Head coach Mike McDaniel said that it will be announced whether his quarterback is starting or not before Thursday evening, and that it won't be a game-time decision.
Tagovailoa's health has been a subject of controversy since Sunday, as he appeared to suffer a head injury after getting hit by Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano during Miami's 21-19 win. Tua was stumbling on the field after the hit, causing many to believe he was concussed. He exited and returned to the game, however, and finished out the contest. The NFLPA said afterward it whether the Dolphins followed the concussion protocol, but the team has maintained it was a back issue.
The Dolphins are one of just two remaining undefeated teams, and the play of their quarterback is a big reason why. Tagovailoa is on his way to a career year, as he is currently second in the NFL with 925 passing yards, and tied for third in passing touchdowns with eight. If he does not start Thursday night, Teddy Bridgewater will take over.
"I know if he doesn't play, it literally was not possible," McDaniel said (via Pro Football Talk). "We're just taking measures accordingly for Teddy (Bridgewater) beyond that. But happy with the way he's, so far, progressed. And feel very optimistic because of how he's going about it."