As the Miami Dolphins flip the web page on the loss to the Minnesota Vikings and put together for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night time, it seems the crew stays on observe to have quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make his return.
“The plan is for him to approach the game as the starter,” coach Mike McDaniel mentioned of Tagovailoa on Monday. “He’ll be able to get those [practice] reps on Wednesday. I felt really good about how he was able to get back on the field.”
Tagovailoa was cleared from concussion protocol on Saturday, however the Dolphins by no means deliberate to play him on Sunday in opposition to the Vikings. He progressed via protocol to apply all through the previous week, on a restricted foundation on Wednesday and Thursday earlier than going via a full apply workload on Friday.
McDaniel famous that it was essential for Tagovailoa to get via protocol, see specialists and apply all final week earlier than one other full week of drills, particularly since he final had a full week of apply forward of the Sept. 25 sport in opposition to the Buffalo Bills.
“He responded real well in his exuberant self, and we’ll be excited to see him practice on Wednesday,” McDaniel mentioned. “And I know the team will be, as well.”
Added proper guard Robert Hunt: “Tua’s Tua. Tua’s our leader. We’ll be excited to get him back.”
Tagovailoa’s return comes simply in time to offer the Dolphins a jump-start again in the correct path. Since his concussion suffered within the second quarter of the Sept. 29 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Dolphins are on a three-game shedding streak that adopted their 3-0 begin.
“He’s a captain for a reason,” McDaniel mentioned. “I think he’s a very, very good player at that position. Very good players, they definitely give people a boost — not because of what other people aren’t, but just because he is who he is. Strong fabric of this team. That’s exciting when you get to go play with one of your brothers, which is why the team will be excited.”
McDaniel mentioned he doesn’t anticipate any rust in Tagovailoa’s mechanics.
“He was really the same guy,” McDaniel mentioned upon watching his return to apply. “He didn’t start throwing right-handed, so that was a good thing.”
There’s discuss internally of getting Tagovailoa to some extent the place he higher protects himself on the sector after his back-to-back video games in opposition to the Bengals and Bills the place he took a blow to the pinnacle, plus different accidents sustained earlier in his profession.
“You love his competitive nature, but there is a time in a play where you have to concede,” McDaniel mentioned. “That’s where he’s kind of focusing on because it’s not natural to him. He wants to break every tackle, and he doesn’t like when plays don’t work. Well, sometimes they won’t.”
After the information of cornerback Nik Needham’s torn Achilles on Sunday that may finish his season, McDaniel mentioned Needham is certainly occurring injured reserve Monday.
“He’s in good spirits,” security Brandon Jones mentioned. “He was so locked in going into the game. I knew, without the injury, he was going to have a huge game.”
The lack of Needham, who was carted off the sector on Sunday, provides to the Dolphins’ damage woes at cornerback.
They haven’t had Byron Jones even come again to apply whereas on the physically-unable-to-perform checklist for offseason decrease left leg surgical procedure. Kader Kohou missed the loss to the Vikings. The crew bought All-Pro Xavien Howard again from lacking the earlier week’s loss to the New York Jets, however Keion Crossen additionally went down Sunday with a knee damage.
McDaniel is cautious to not put an damage timeline on Crossen as a result of he has seen him get well rapidly.
“He’s one of the fastest healers that I’ve ever been around,” McDaniel mentioned. “He’s shown that in the couple of opportunities he’s had since he’s been here. We’ll reassess midweek, only because it’s hard to nail that down.”
McDaniel mentioned he doesn’t suppose the Dolphins will ship Jones out to start working towards this week.
“It is a big deal to put someone out there on the field, a cornerback that’s trying to perform at a high level, with a lower-body extremity injury,” he mentioned. “We’ve been judicious with it. … We’re really just trying to do it the right way, and it’s hard to know fully when that’s going to happen.”
McDaniel famous the Dolphins will proceed to take Jones’ rehab “week by week.”
Brandon Jones mentioned of Byron: “Byron’s been around. He’s like a teacher these days. He’s in there when we’re watching film, when we meet as a defense and as DBs and putting his input in, asking questions. Just being very involved with what he can. … He’s definitely making strides to be able to come back whenever he’s ready.”
With the Dolphins attempting to get their beginning tackles again to alleviate struggling backups Greg Little and Brandon Shell, McDaniel mentioned it’s potential to get one or two again between left sort out Terron Armstead and proper sort out Austin Jackson.
McDaniel mentioned he feels good in regards to the level Armstead reached by Sunday, regardless of not taking part in within the sport. He’s everyday, in line with McDaniel.
On Jackson, who has been on injured reserve for 5 weeks with an ankle damage, McDaniel highlighted how ankles are robust for heavy offensive linemen. Jackson hasn’t had setbacks, and the crew is monitoring him this week.
Quarterback Skylar Thompson, who left Sunday’s loss to the Vikings with a thumb damage on his throwing hand, can be everyday, per McDaniel. …
— The Dolphins, on Monday, launched operating again ZaQuandre White from the apply squad.