Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel hoped to have a decision made on whether Tua Tagovailoa will play in Week 4 by Wednesday.
Well, it’s Wednesday, and if that decision has been made, he’s not sharing it publicly.
Tagovailoa is officially questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with back and ankle injuries, according to the team’s final injury report of the week. If Tua — who said Tuesday that he plans to play Thursday — is unable to go, Teddy Bridgewater will get the start.
Tua Tagovailoa injury update
McDaniel was not made available to reporters Wednesday.
But the Dolphins coach said on Tuesday that he’s “very optimistic” that his starting quarterback will be able to play against the Bengals.
Tua — who briefly left the Dolphins’ Week 3 win over the Bills after his back locked up — is one of seven Miami players listed as questionable for Thursday’s games.
The others: left tackle Terron Armstead (toe), defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee), cornerback Xavien Howard (groin/glute), safety Brandon Jones (chest), wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (groin), and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson (ribs/toe). All but Wilson are starters.
Two Dolphins players have been ruled out: tight ends Cethan Carter and Hunter Long.
The Dolphins were supposed to practice Wednesday morning before flying to Cincinnati. But due to the path of Hurricane Ian, they left first thing in the morning. Had they practiced, Tagovailoa would have been limited in his participation, according to the team.
The uncertainty surrounding Tua’s availability may go up until kickoff — even though McDaniel said Tuesday he would prefer that not be the case.
“It’s just in a short turnaround like this, I don’t have reps at back and ankle injuries on a Thursday night game,” McDaniel said. “So I’m going to take the rest of the day and then as soon as we can probably at some point tomorrow, I’d like to. If it’s more up in the air, I know that’s one thing that we can handle with our guy in Teddy is that part of the reason it was so paramount and I was so pumped that Chris [Grier] and the guys were able to get it done was because you have to be able to adjust as a backup quarterback and really nothing would change that much in terms of how to call the game.
“We have a bunch of faith in him,” McDaniel added. “So we’re walking through in general, anyway. So Teddy has to take reps each and every play in terms of calling the play and visualizing everything as it stands. So we’ll probably just take it as long as we have to before we can be convicted. But at some point there has to be — it won’t be five minutes before kickoff. I know that. Probably sometime on Wednesday, but if we have to, we’ll move it to Thursday morning.”