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Dolphins haven’t decided on starting QB for finale vs. Jets yet, but it likely won’t be Tua Tagovailoa – Boston Herald



It appears either Skylar Thompson, the rookie seventh-round pick from Kansas State, or veteran Teddy Bridgewater will start at quarterback for the Dolphins in this Sunday’s regular-season finale against the New York Jets at 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium. But Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Monday that Miami didn’t yet know who will start, or when it’ll name a starter.

Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is unlikely to start, is still in concussion protocol. Tagovailoa, according to one report, expressed interest in playing in a wild-card game but Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said he hasn’t discussed a timeline for return with Tagovailoa.

“With Tua I haven’t thought about playing status,” McDaniel said. “It is about him getting healthy each and every day. So I can’t really even factor him into any sort of equation until we’re ready to broach that.”

It’s unclear whether Bridgewater could start or serve as a backup because he has a dislocated pinky finger on his right throwing hand, which complicates the situation.

“Right now I’m preparing for both Skylar and Teddy,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s too soon to know anything about Teddy.”

It seems McDaniel would start Bridgewater if he’s healthy enough to play.

McDaniel said he’d like to name a starter by Wednesday so that player can practice with the first team Wednesday and Thursday. But McDaniel said if they don’t name a starter Wednesday the team will simply have to adjust.

As for other injury situations, particularly for Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead (toe, pectoral, hip, knee), Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, and edge rusher Bradley Chubb (hand, ankle), they remain unsettled.

Along with starting quarterback, backup quarterback is also unsettled and depending on the situation the Dolphins could be required to add a quarterback or two this week.

Last week the Dolphins reportedly brought in quarterbacks Jack Coan (San Antonio Brahmas/XFL) and Kyle Lauletta (New Jersey Generals/USFL) for tryouts but didn’t sign either. The Dolphins had quarterback Reid Sinnett (San Antonio Brahmas/XFL) during training camp.

This is a huge situation for whoever starts at quarterback for the Dolphins.

Basically, if the Dolphins (8-8) defeat the Jets, and the New England Patriots (8-8) lose to the Buffalo Bills, Miami makes the playoffs.

Thompson had mixed results against the Patriots, finishing 12 of 21 for 104 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 66.4 passer rating. For the season Thompson is 40 of 74 for 382 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, and a 56.2 passer rating.

So far, neither Thompson nor Bridgewater has finished a game they started. Bridgewater left the Jets game earlier this season due concussion concerns, Thompson left the Minnesota Vikings game with a thumb injury, and Bridgewater left the Patriots game with a finger injury,

If that trend continues the Dolphins could have a quarterback who hasn’t taken a regular-season snap with the team this season finishing potentially their biggest game of the year.

Injury updates

While Armstead, Howard and Chubb are questionable to play Sunday, McDaniel said offensive tackle Kendall Lamm, who started in Armstead’s place during the Patriots game but sustained an ankle injury and didn’t return, won’t play Sunday.

Lamm was replaced by Greg Little.

Armstead would presumably be replaced by Little once again. Howard, who sustained his injury when he bumped knees with a teammate in practice last week, would likely be replaced by Keion Crossen and Chubb would likely be replaced again by Andrew Van Ginkel.

The year(s) of The Collapse

The Dolphins aren’t alone in their late-season swoon. The Tennessee Titans (7-9) and New York Jets (7-9) are right there along with them. The Dolphins have lost five consecutive games, same as the Jets, while Tennessee has lost six consecutive games.

Last year, the Baltimore Ravens were 8-3, lost their final six games, including the season finale to the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime, and finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs.

Apparently, the 17-game schedule, now in its second season, provides more time for late-season collapses.

The touchdown that never should have happened

Here’s an example of how Dolphins players and coaches were out of sync for a key play, New England’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Mac Jones to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, in Sunday’s 23-21 loss.

“It was something I think across the board coaches and players are both today holding themselves accountable for,” McDaniel said, adding the situation was communicated but players saw the situation differently.

Whatever the case, the 1-yard touchdown reception, which came on third-and-goal, gave New England a 23-14 lead. And it never should have happened.

New England originally lined up for the play with wide receiver Tyquan Thornton uncovered on the left side of the formation. Shortly before the snap, Dolphins defensive back Elijiah Campbell, the 12th man on the field, sprinted to the sideline at full speed, running right by Thornton and seeming to point toward him, as if to indicate Thornton’s presence to the rest of the defense. No one noticed.

The Dolphins were in their goal line package with safeties Jevon Holland and Clayton Fejedelem, who came on the field late, as the defensive backs. Linebacker Duke Riley was lined up outside of the left tackle and had his back to Thornton.

Fortunately for the Dolphins, Jones never saw Thornton, who was waving his arms before the snap.

But it wouldn’t have mattered because New England called a timeout before the play, which was a handoff to running back Damien Harris that was executed about halfway before players stopped.

At that point, Thornton was standing in the end zone all alone.

New England noticed. The Dolphins didn’t.

When the Patriots took the field after the timeout they were in an ‘I’ bunched formation. The Dolphins remained in their same goal line package.

That’s when New England then shifted its formation before the snap.

The Patriots sent Meyers, who was lined up next to left tackle Trent Brown, wide left. He was uncovered. Holland is then seen pointing in Meyers’ direction. He was the only defender who noticed the uncovered Meyers.

Just before the snap, Riley finally hears Holland, points toward Meyers. and runs toward him. But it was too late.

Jones threw to Meyers for the touchdown.

“When we came out of the huddle half the defense saw it as one way, half the defense saw it as another,” McDaniel said. “So all things were communicated. However, live speed they saw it differently and then once the recognition occurred we were aligned late.”

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