The Miami Dolphins will be without sometimes starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 17 due to a positive COVID-19 test, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Tua Tagovailoa is the Dolphins starting quarterback, but Fitzpatrick came in for an ineffective Tagovailoa last week to help the Dolphins to an important win over the Raiders.
It was somewhat surprising that coach Brian Flores named Tagovailoa the starter for this week’s matchup with the Bills, but in hindsight, it ended up being for the best. If the Dolphins beat the Bills, they secure a playoff spot. The Bills don’t have much to play for, so could rest their starters at some point in the game. But even if the Dolphins lose, they still have a chance of getting into the playoffs if the Browns, Ravens or Colts end up losing.
We now know that Tagovailoa won’t be looking over his shoulder this week, but that also means the game will be firmly on his shoulders. This could be a defining game for the rookie early in his career.