Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson calls a play while under center against the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins plan to start third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla., coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday.
Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa and second-string quarterback Teddy Bridgewater each remain in the concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa was placed in the concussion protocol last month, after he sustained a hit to his head for the second game in a span of four days. He missed the Dolphins' loss to the New York Jets on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
McDaniel said Tagovailoa will return for individual work at practice Wednesday, but will not be active Sunday against the Vikings. Bridgewater will return to practice on a limited capacity Thursday in Miami Gardens.
Bridgewater landed in the protocol Sunday when he took a hit to his elbow in the first quarter of the Dolphins' loss to the Jets. He also was evaluated for a head injury and ruled out for the remainder of the game after a concussion spotter thought he saw the quarterback stumble after the hit.
The spotter-triggered-exit stemmed from a new wrinkle within the NFL's concussion protocol and a recent investigation into the Dolphins' adherence to the concussion protocol after Tagovailoa took the first hit to his head in a Sept. 25 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Tagovailoa was seen wobbling and had to be held up by teammates after that hit, but was allowed to return to that game. He sustained a concussion four days later in the first half of a Dolphins loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL and players union announced Saturday that they completed their investigation into the Tagovailoa matter. The investigation led to updates in the protocol and the inclusion of "ataxia" as a no-go symptom, meaning NFL players cannot return to a game if they exhibit the abnormality of balance or stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue.
McDaniel said Bridgewater will back up Thompson on Sunday, even if he passes through the protocol. He said the decision for Tagovailoa to play in Week 7 is not in the "immediate future."
"Today, he is just getting back to play football for the first time in two weeks," McDaniel said of Tagovailoa. "He hasn't been on a field playing football in two weeks. I'm not trying to get ahead of myself and think about the Z component, I'm worried about A. A is getting him on the field, having him throw a football and being around his teammates. That's what today's step is."
Thompson completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards Sunday against the Jets. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble. The Dolphins (3-2) will host the Vikings (4-1) at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (L) makes a interception against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday. The Commanders beat
the Bears 12-7. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo