Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa ‘to approach the week as the starter’ ahead of Steelers game

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is seemingly on track to return to the lineup for the Week 7 “Sunday Night Football” home game versus the 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters Monday that he’s planning for Tagovailoa “to approach the week as the starter” ahead of the showdown with the Steelers. Tagovailoa was controversially allowed to return to the field during the Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills after he appeared to suffer a worrisome head injury and hasn’t played since he went down with a concussion in the Week 4 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted on Saturday that Tagovailoa had cleared the NFL’s concussion protocols and was expected at that time to play against Pittsburgh this coming Sunday. Meanwhile, backups Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson were both banged up during Tagovailoa’s absence, and the Dolphins have dropped three straight contests to fall to 3-3. 

According to ESPN stats, Tagovailoa was leading the NFL with a 109.9 passer rating and an 80.0 total QBR at the time he was knocked out of the Cincinnati game. He’s completed 69.6% of his throws for 1,035 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.  

Pittsburgh rookie and first-choice quarterback Kenny Pickett may not play against the Dolphins after he suffered a concussion during Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Veteran Mitchell Trubisky would start on Sunday night if Pickett isn’t cleared or is benched by head coach Mike Tomlin out of an abundance of caution. 


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