Tagovailoa was knocked out of Miami’s 35-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday after taking a hit from Bills defensive end AJ Epenesa on the Dolphins’ second drive of the game. He was carted into the locker room shortly after and did not return. Jacoby Brissett threw for 169 yards and an interception in his stead.
Flores said Tagovailoa is still in a “good deal of pain” Monday and undergoing further tests. Follow-up X-rays on Tagovailoa’s rib were negative, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Flores also complimented Tagovailoa’s toughness, dating back to the dislocated hip he suffered during his final year at Alabama in 2019. He did not say whether the quarterback would play this coming Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders but suggested that Tagovailoa’s game status would be a matter of pain tolerance.
“Tua is very tough. It’s not a question with him,” Flores said. “He’s a tough kid, for sure … If Tua can go, he’s gonna go. That’s just the type of kid he is.”
Flores said Tagovailoa tried to return to Sunday’s game against the Bills and that he hopes he can practice Wednesday — and even mentioned a flak jacket as a possibility for the second-year quarterback in order to mitigate the impact from the hits he may take.
Another player Miami expects to be at practice Wednesday is wide receiver Will Fuller, who missed practice Thursday and Friday as well as Sunday’s game for personal reasons. Flores said Fuller was at the facility Monday and the team expects him to remain with them throughout the week.
On Friday, Flores didn’t get into specifics on Fuller’s personal issue but said it came as a surprise. Fuller was set to make his debut with the Dolphins after serving a one-game suspension to start the season. He signed with Miami in March after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Houston Texans.