<
>

Source: Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa out of concussion protocol

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was cleared from concussion protocol Saturday, a source said, but he will not play this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

Tagovailoa is expected to return for the Dolphins' Week 7 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source said.

Tagovailoa has not played since leaving the field on a stretcher after suffering a concussion in Week 4 when he was spun to the ground and hit his head on the turf. That tackle was similar to one from a week before, after which Tagovailoa appeared unsteady on his feet but was allowed to return to the game after clearing concussion testing.

After Tagovailoa suffered the Week 4 concussion, the quarterback, his team of independent doctors and the Dolphins followed a thorough process that far exceeded the NFL's concussion protocol, sources said. He received four outside opinions, in addition to the opinions of team doctors, who unanimously cleared him from the protocol, and all agreed that his scans showed no signs of long-term impact to the brain. This is a best-case scenario for the quarterback who was off to a impressive start to the 2022 season.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel ruled Tagovailoa out on Wednesday, saying he wasn't comfortable making him active after going two weeks without any football activity.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was also cleared from concussion protocol Saturday. He will be active Sunday, but will back up rookie Skylar Thompson, a seventh-round draft pick who will be making his first career start.

Thompson completed 16 of 33 passes for 166 yards and an interception in relief of Bridgewater against the New York Jets last week, but his first career NFL action included returning to the sideline without any teammate who played his position waiting for him.

With Bridgewater expected to operate as his backup Sunday and Tagovailoa roaming the sideline, Thompson's first start should have a different feel to it.

"They've helped me a lot," Thompson said. "Whether they've vocally said something to me to teach me something or whatnot, they've taught me a ton through their actions and the way they carry themselves, the way they prepare. I'm very, very grateful for those guys."

ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques contributed to this report.