The Miami Dolphins hailed backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as their “reduction pitcher” after Week 16’s win over the Raiders, but when the crew wants late-game heroics in opposition to the Buffalo Payments on Sunday, they will should depend on another person. As NFL Community reported Thursday, Fitzpatrick has examined optimistic for COVID-19 and can miss Week 17’s essential contest. The veteran was a shock absence at apply earlier within the day, and now he will not be obtainable for Miami till at the very least the postseason — if the Dolphins make it.
In accordance with NFL Community’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL‘s COVID-19 protocols require a 10-day isolation by gamers who’ve contracted the virus, which means Fitzpatrick can also be sidelined for a possible AFC Wild Card sport on Jan. 9 or 10.
Coach Brian Flores had already named rookie Tua Tagovailoa the starter for Sunday’s sport, however Fitzpatrick has arguably been the Dolphins’ higher signal-caller, to not point out a repeat fill-in throughout Tagovailoa’s lesser performances. In deeming him a “reduction pitcher,” in any case, Flores left the door open for extra Fitzpatrick taking part in time. There’s been no phrase but whether or not Tagovailoa himself might be thought-about a high-risk shut contact to Fitzpatrick, which might additionally jeopardize his availability in opposition to Buffalo.
Within the meantime, the Dolphins will name upon veteran reserve Jake Rudock, who’s solely thrown 5 profession passes, to function Tagovailoa’s backup in Week 17. Rudock has been on and off Miami’s apply squad this 12 months however has been re-signed within the wake of Fitzpatrick’s COVID check outcomes, per Pelissero.
The Dolphins want a win in opposition to the Payments, or a loss by one of many different AFC Wild Card contenders, in an effort to qualify for the playoffs.