Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores told reporters on Wednesday that starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders after additional test results revealed that he suffered fractured ribs in the team's Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
How much time will Tagovailoa miss? Perhaps a week or two -- the Dolphins don't believe the problem is severe. But Tagovailoa has a long injury history, and it's rather difficult to ignore the past, according to NFL on CBS analyst Charles Davis.
"I think it'd be disingenuous to say that you don't think in that direction [of his injury history]," Davis told The DA Show on Wednesday. "You have to, because you can't help but look back to him starting at Alabama, with the different things that have happened. Now, give the young man credit. I think he had ankle surgery twice and played in the College Football Playoff. It's not like he has no toughness to him -- he has plenty of toughness.
"But some of these injuries have almost been catastrophic... He took a heck of a whack last week. Can he throw the football and not lose velocity? That's one thing people need to think about. Because if you've ever had a rib injury, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to turn your head. And you can go ahead and say, 'Okay, I'm going to let this one go,' but that pain snaps you, and all of the sudden, you lose velocity throwing the football..."
Tagovailoa was knocked out of the game midway through the first quarter, after taking a hit from Bills defensive end AJ Epenesa. Although he tried to return to action, the Dolphins deemed it unsafe, and he was carted to the locker room shorty thereafter.
2020 was a strange year for Tagovailoa on the field. The 23-year-old started his first game in early November, won six of nine games in the role, and threw for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. Tagovailoa also ran into some issues with the playbook, and his ineffective play prompted Flores to bench him twice for veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Miami (1-1) and Las Vegas (2-0) are scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Dolphins currently have a 44-percent chance to reach the playoffs, and a 16-percent chance to win the AFC East.
The entire NFL conversation with Davis can be accessed in the audio player above.