Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores expects QB Tua Tagovailoa to start against New York Jets

MIAMI -- Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to start against the New York Jets, coach Brian Flores said Monday, after missing his past two starts with a fractured finger on his throwing hand.

Tagovailoa missed Miami's game against the Houston Texans in Week 9 and sat out the first half against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10 before entering the game in relief of an injured Jacoby Brissett. The Dolphins won both games.

The No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft suffered the injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8 but was able to finish the game. However, after aggravating his finger last week against Baltimore, Tagovailoa is not yet 100 percent healthy.

"He's definitely limited, there's definitely some discomfort," Flores said. "He hit the finger again so we've just got to monitor that as the week goes."

Flores said Tagovailoa had difficulty driving the ball downfield in practice last week, leading him to start Brissett for the second straight game. He also wanted to protect the second-year quarterback from injuring his finger any further -- which Tagovailoa ended up doing against the Ravens.

Tagovailoa still finished the game completing 8 of 13 passes for 158 yards and rushing for a 1-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. He confirmed his finger "doesn't feel good" following the 22-10 win and was grateful for the extra time he would get to heal before the Dolphins traveled to New York in Week 11.

"Obviously, he's going to have some discomfort with his finger. He banged it the other day, which we were trying to avoid," Flores said. "But he's had some time to rest it. He'll practice today and [Tagovailoa playing is] my expectation for this weekend."

Tagovailoa has missed four games this season -- three because of fractured ribs he suffered early in Week 2 that landed him on injured reserve, and one because of his fractured finger. Brissett filled in for him in each instance but left Thursday's game with a knee injury.

Flores said Brissett was cleared to return, but the team decided to stay with Tagovailoa. Brissett will be limited in practice throughout the week.

"It was kind of a scary situation but thankfully it wasn't everything serious," Flores said. "Let's call [Brissett] day-to-day."

Miami has won two straight games after snapping a seven-game losing streak earlier in the season. ESPN's FPI rankings give the Dolphins the third-easiest remaining schedule in the NFL but just a 1.7% chance at making the playoffs.