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Tagovailoa inactive, Fitzpatrick starts for Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa is inactive for the Miami Dolphins with a left thumb injury, so Ryan Fitzpatrick has started today at quarterback against the winless New York Jets.

Tagovailoa was downgraded to doubtful Saturday after he hurt the thumb on his throwing hand in practice Wednesday. He was limited at practice throughout the week. Reid Sinnett was elevated from the practice squad to serve as the backup to Fitzpatrick, who’ll make his first start since Oct. 18. That previous start also came against the Jets.

Fitzpatrick is 3-3 as a starter this season, while Tagovailoa is 3-1.

Around the NFL, New York is getting its starting quarterback back. Sam Darnold is playing after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury. Darnold was first hurt against Denver on Oct. 1, when he sprained the AC joint in the shoulder on a hard tackle to the turf. He reinjured it at Kansas City on Nov. 1 on another hard hit and missed the next two games. Joe Flacco has started in Darnold’s place.

The Atlanta Falcons will be without two of their top playmakers when wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Todd Gurley are out against the Las Vegas Raiders. Jones is missing the game with a hamstring injury while Gurley has a knee injury. Brian Hill is expected to move up at running back.

The Cardinals and Patriots are both without starters on Sunday. In addition to receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week, Arizona also won’t have safety Jalen Thompson, ruled out with an ankle injury, or defensive tackle Josh Mauro (hamstring).

New England will play without running back Rex Burkhead and left tackle Isaiah Wynn after both were placed on injured reserve Saturday with knee injuries. Defensive end Tashawn Bower (illness) and defensive tackle Byron Cowart were also ruled out Sunday.

Gardner Minshew won’t serve as Jacksonville’s backup quarterback against Cleveland. Minshew is inactive because of a sprained thumb on his throwing hand. He resumed throwing last week, but coach Doug Marrone went with rookie Jake Luton behind new starter Mike Glennon.

Glennon is making his first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season.

The Colts will be missing two injured starters when they face Tennessee for the AFC South lead. Center Ryan Kelly (neck) and linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle) were ruled out earlier this week. Three other starters — defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, defensive end Denico Autry and rookie running back Jonathan Taylor — also won’t play after being put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Autry is missing his second straight game. He leads the Colts with six sacks. Buckner, the top run stuffer on the league’s No. 2 defense, went on the COVID list earlier this week and Taylor, Indy’s leading rusher, was added Saturday.

Tennessee cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (knee) will miss his 11th consecutive game and receiver Adam Humphries will sit out for the fourth straight week after failing to clear the concussion protocol.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler returns for Los Angeles’ game at the Buffalo Bills after missing six games with a hamstring injury.

The Chargers, however, are minus running back Kalen Ballage, who was ruled out with a calf and ankle injury, and starting cornerback Casey Hayward (groin).

Hayward’s streak of playing 106 consecutive games comes to an end. That stood as the NFL’s longest active run among cornerbacks. His streak dated to 2013, Hayward’s second season with Green Bay.

The Bills are minus starting receiver John Brown, who will miss at least three games with an ankle injury after being placed on injured reserve Saturday. Bills cornerback Josh Norman returns after missing three games with a hamstring injury and a fourth after being placed on the COVID-19 list.

The Carolina Panthers have left tackle Russell Okung (back) in the lineup against Minnesota after a four-game absence, and right guard John Miller (ankle/knee) and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee) return after missing the previous game. All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is out for the third straight game, with Mike Davis taking his place.

Vikings wide receiver and NFL touchdown receptions leader Adam Thielen is out, on the COVID-19 reserve list and replaced by Bisi Johnson. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. (groin/back) is inactive, along with right guard Ezra Cleveland (ankle).

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is active against the New York Giants. He’d been questionable for the game because of a concussion.

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