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Tests on Tagovailoa’s ribs give Dolphins hope he plays Week 3

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is helped off of the field with a rib injury along with head coach Brian Flores (right) during Miami’s 35-0 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Tests show Tagovailoa has bruised ribs, raising the possibility that he could play next week at Las Vegas. AP photo

The Associated Press

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — For the Miami Dolphins, Sunday was bad. Monday was at least somewhat better.

A battery of tests run on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa failed to show any serious problems other than bruised ribs, raising at least the possibility that he could play next weekend when the Dolphins (1-1) visit the Las Vegas Raiders (2-0).

Tagovailoa was knocked out of the Dolphins’ 35-0 loss to Buffalo on Sunday after just two series and eight plays. The QB from Oahu ended up on the turf after three of those plays, sacked twice on the first series and then injured on the final play of Miami’s second possession. He was taken from the sideline on a cart and didn’t return, though the Dolphins have hope that he can play in Week 3.

“If Tua can go, he’s going to go,” coach Brian Flores said. “That’s just the kind of kid he is.”

Against the Bills, he clearly couldn’t go.

And those who could play simply didn’t go anywhere.

On every level, it was a Dolphin disaster. A sixth straight loss to the Bills, matching the worst such streak in Miami history. The biggest margin of defeat ever against Buffalo. The second-worst home shutout loss in team history. Only the fourth time the Dolphins lost to an AFC East opponent by 35 or more points.

“We know we need to be better,” offensive lineman Robert Hunt said. “We know we have some issues. We’ll come back and we’ll work to correct those issues.”

The offensive line has been a major issue for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa played eight snaps; he was sacked on the first, sacked again on the third and then knocked out on the eighth. Jacoby Brissett played the final 3 1/2 quarters and was sacked four times, meaning the Dolphins yielded six of those on the day. The last time Miami gave up six sacks and won was Nov. 1, 2009; the Dolphins are 0-17 in those games since.

There was some good news Monday, other than Flores sounding as if there’s at least reasonable hope of Tagovailoa playing this coming week — with a flak jacket to protect his ribs being a possibility.

Wide receiver Will Fuller, who missed Week 1 while completing a six-game suspension and missed Week 2 for a personal matter, was back with the Dolphins. Flores said he expects Fuller to practice this week, meaning his now twice-delayed Dolphin debut could come in Las Vegas on Sunday.

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