MIAMI — It’s too early to tell if Miami Dolphins rookie Skylar Thompson will start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, coach Mike McDaniel said Monday.
With quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater both in concussion protocol with no specific return schedule, the Dolphins could look to 2022 seventh-round pick Thompson to make his first career start and, ideally, continue. two consecutive defeats.
It’s not something McDaniel feels he has enough information to speculate at the start of the week, however.
“It’s too early for me to really determine that,” he said. “There’s, again, I kind of have to wait and assess the whole situation, which I don’t have in my grasp. What I do know is that Skylar will be training on Wednesday and I hope that on Wednesday I will have a better idea of the direction we should go, it’s best for the football team.”
In Sunday’s 40-17 loss to the New York Jets, Thompson replaced Bridgewater, who was placed on concussion protocol after just one offensive snap. Thompson finished the game with 166 yards on 19 of 33 passes. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble in what McDaniel called a “tough rookie outing.”
Tagovailoa has been on concussion protocol since Week 4. He’s in the Dolphins building but hasn’t progressed enough to start doing football activities yet, McDaniel said, and is being assessed every 12 to 24 hours. .
Meanwhile, Bridgewater continues to show no symptoms of concussion after passing his evaluation in Sunday’s game. He was removed from the game after an ATC observer from the stand believed he saw Bridgewater stumble after taking a hard blow from Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, triggering the recently added “ataxia” clause in the protocol of NFL concussion.
The amendment states that any player who is diagnosed with ataxia – which is an “abnormal balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological problem” – will be banned from returning to the game. game and will require follow-up. care.
Dolphins captains Terron Armstead and Tyreek Hill also suffered injuries in Sunday’s game. Armstead, the Dolphins’ starting left tackle, stayed in New York overnight to see a specialist for a toe injury that’s been bothering him since Week 1. McDaniel said the appointment went well and that Armstead was back in Florida. The hope is that he plays on Sunday, but McDaniel said he implicitly trusts Armstead in the process.
“The one thing I learned with Terron is that I can trust him as much as I’ve ever trusted any player,” he said. “So I know one thing, he will do whatever it takes to play on Sunday. The one thing that myself, the coaching staff and his teammates know is if he is not able to play is because he is physically unable to play. [I’m] trust this process and glad we took a step to get this thing healthy.”
Hill left MetLife Stadium with a walking boot on his left foot, but McDaniel said the wide receiver “looked pretty good” on Monday. He called Hill a “quick healer” and said the Dolphins would take his status day by day.
Starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones also missed Sunday’s game and although McDaniel said he did not expect to activate Jones, who is on the list of physically unable to play after surgery of Achilles in March, Howard has a better chance of playing on Sunday.
If Thompson is to start on Sunday, McDaniel said he’s confident in what the rookie can accomplish after a week of getting starting reps — especially after what he was able to do in his first NFL action.
“Being a backup quarterback in this league isn’t easy,” McDaniel said. “And what people don’t understand is that you have a limited number of reps during the week because you can’t burn out your athletes and you can’t have an infinite amount of reps. So generally, the beginners get between 80 and 100 percent of the training reps. So a backup quarterback, especially a rookie, that’s a huge challenge because you have to own the whole game plan, visualize it, be able to call it, be able to line people up and then execute appropriately.
The Dolphins have lost consecutive games after starting the season 3-0. They have a favorable schedule ahead with only one of their next six games against an opponent with a winning record – this week’s game against the Vikings 4-1.
Regardless of their opponent, they don’t look too deeply into those losses and are confident in their ability to bounce back.
“You can have any excuse, any reason for any loss you want and I think being a professional football player and being a guy in the locker room you know the talent is there,” he said. said fullback Alec Ingold. “You know the coaches are there. You know the pieces of the puzzle are there. We’ve proven that, as you said. It’s just about coming together as a team, finding our formula to win, to have a standard and stick to it.
“I feel like those are all simple answers you can give, but it’s really hard to do from week to week. That’s what separates good teams from great ones.”