Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa likely to start, barring setbacks

LONDON -- Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday "if all goes well" at practice Friday, coach Brian Flores said.

Tagovailoa has missed the past three games while on injured reserve after fracturing his ribs in Miami's loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. The second-year quarterback began throwing last week and practiced Wednesday and Thursday before the team left for London on Thursday evening.

Flores said that Tagovailoa has looked good this week but that he doesn't want the quarterback forcing the issue, despite the team's 1-4 record and four-game losing streak, in Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

"Take the plays that are there. If there's an opportunity for a big play, try to make it -- don't try to force anything," Flores said Friday. "It's not a one-man team. ... My message to him is take it one play at a time, go through your progressions one play at a time and try to execute."

Tagovailoa, who remained involved on the sideline and in meetings, said he still is managing pain in some capacity but that it won't stop him from playing Sunday.

"I feel good. Happy to be out there with the team again," Tagovailoa said. "I don't think it's 100%, but I'm 100% ready to get back on the field."

Tagovailoa said he has made adjustments to what he's going to wear Sunday. He was already wearing a rib cage protector on the play during which he was injured.

Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett also is expected to be available Sunday. He was carted into the locker room during the Dolphins' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5 but returned and was able to finish the game.

Brissett completed 65.2% of his passes for 858 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions as Miami lost all three games missed by Tagovailoa.

Wide receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (groin), meanwhile, have been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

Tagovailoa returns to the team with a lot at stake even this early in the season. The Dolphins rank 31st in total yards, 30th in passing yards, 31st in scoring and dead last in rushing yards per game. More than one loss over their next three games would drop them into a hole only one team has recovered from. Out of 177 teams in NFL history to start their season 2-6 or worse, only the Washington Football Team in 2013 made the playoffs.

"We're excited to have Tua back, but there's 53 guys on the team, 48 will play on game day," Flores said. "It's never one person; we have to play together as a team. ... He can throw a great ball; if the guy doesn't catch it, it's not a completion. If the guys up front don't block, he'll never get the ball off."

The No. 5 pick in 2020, Tagovailoa completed 186 of 290 passes for 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns with 5 interceptions as a rookie. He threw for 202 yards -- with one touchdown and one interception -- and ran for a touchdown in his lone complete game this season, a 17-16 win over the New England Patriots in Week 1.