The Dolphins chances to pull a second straight victory off were bolstered Saturday evening ,when it was learned that the Colts have ruled out starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett with an injured knee.
#MIAvsIND Injury Updates:
QB Jacoby Brissett has been downgraded to OUT.
CB Pierre Desir has been downgraded to DOUBTFUL.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 9, 2019
Coach Frank Reich had held out hope that Brissett, who suffered a sprained knee in the first half of last week’s 26 – 24 lost to the Steelers, would be able to play against the Fins. He described it as a “game time” decision with the media Friday.
However, it will be Brian Hoyer a long time back up with numerous teams and who replaced Brissett last week, who will get the start in his place. Indianapolis also elevated Chad Kelly off their practice squad Saturday to be the backup for Sunday.
Brissett had led the Colts to a tremendous start to 2019 including upset wins at Tennessee and Kansas City earlier this year. He has a 99.7 QBR, so far this year with a 14 TD to 3 INT ratio after being named as the replacement to Andrew Luck on the eve of the season.
The Dolphins are looking for a second straight win after starting the year 0 – 7. However, as we have written frequently, it remains debatable as to how much they want to try to win down the stretch of the season. That’s because their repeated trading of quality veteran players (and even last year’s #1 pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick) in trades seems to show that Miami is doing everything they can to lose, to have better draft position in 2020.
BTW, Fitzpatrick had a 96 yard interception return for a TD off Hoyer in the Steelers victory last week.
Now, in each of the last two games Miami has led by double digits in the first half. And, getting off to a good start will be critical in what is a loud environment in Indianapolis for their own QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense.
Miami will deal with a significant injury, as well. This after rookie WR Preston Williams, who had been coming on as the season unfolded, suffered a torn ACL last week. Williams had two TD catches in the win over the Jets last week.
Stafford trade rumor reminder Dolphins better be ready to trade up
On Thursday morning a report surfaced that the Lions, who are currently slated to pick third in April’s NFL Draft, were actively looking to trade former Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Stafford. And, while that report has now been debunked, for teams like the Dolphins sitting in the fifth Spot, this is reminder of their reality of what could happen if someone jumps in front of them, in particular for a QB.
First, the report surfaced late Wednesday night from a local Detroit TV station that their sports reporter/anchor had learned that the Lions were looking for a trade partner for the 11-year veteran Stafford:
Sources: Lions in trade talks to deal Matthew Stafford https://t.co/1lH2yRxGZx
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) February 13, 2020
That report was quickly squashed by lions GM Bob Quinn and numerous NFL media reporters and salary cap experts pointed out that Stafford’s cap hit would be a massive $32 million dollars, if he is traded or released this season.
So it’s not likely, no matter how bad the situation is with the Lions, the Stafford is going anywhere.
But, that doesn’t mean that the Redskins, who are picking second and the Giants were picking 4th after the Lions and obviously both before the Dolphins at five, aren’t going to also be in the market to listen to trade offers for their picks.
This is, because Washington seems to be committed, for now with a new head coach and Ron Rivera, to last year’s first round quarterback pick, Dwayne Haskins
And likewise, the Giants have obviously made a commitment to their number one pick up last year, Daniel Jones. This after 2 time Super Bowl winning veteran quarterback Eli Manning announced his retirement, recently.
So, both NFC East teams appear to be targets, if a team (including the Dolphins) would look to try to increase their draft position.
This is in particular if that team were interested in the second best quarterback available in the draft, which is likely Alabama Tua Tagovailoa.
As was reported earlier this week, Tagovailoa is on schedule to heal from a fractured hip suffered last November in Alabama’s game with Mississippi State. While Tua won workout at the NFL combine later this month, it’s believed that he would likely work out for teams Alabama facility later in March or April.
One final factor in favor of the Dolphins and GM Chris Grier: they have some trade capital, including extra first-round pick this year and next year, with which the potentially move up if they so desire.
It’s all part of the evaluation process and then, the drama of what the teams at the top of the first round will look to do later this Spring.
Positive hip injury update for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
Another positive update for prospective top five draft pick, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, has to have not only him encouraged him, but also teams like the Miami Dolphins even more interested in his status, too.
First, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport relayed Monday afternoon the Tagovailoa’s fractured hip suffered last November has apparently fully healed passing a huge milestone in his offseason recovery from the injury:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2020
Tagovailoa was one of over 300 players invited last week to the NFL Scouting Combine coming to Indianapolis at the end of this month. However, it was always understood that due to the injury, he was never expected to participate in any of the physical activities during those workouts.
Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering the hip injury on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan
He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.
Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.
In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.
As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.
He will be available to meet with teams in Inday and especially those who are looking to select in the top five in the draft and #5 currently, is Miami.
It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.
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