MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. >> Tua Tagovailoa never saw it coming.
And now, the Miami Dolphins aren’t sure when they’ll see their starting quarterback play again.
Tagovailoa was carted off the sideline during the first quarter of Sunday’s game against Buffalo with a rib injury, getting knocked out in the second series. The Dolphins will have to wait to find out what doctors say about his availability going forward.
“We’re getting some tests run,” coach Brian Flores said after the 35-0 loss to the Bills. “Don’t know the severity of the injury right now. We’re going to run some tests tonight and tomorrow morning and hopefully have a little bit more information.”
Tagovailoa was hit by Buffalo’s A.J. Epenesa on the final play of Miami’s second series. The Dolphins went for it on fourth-and-2 from near midfield. Epenesa was completely unblocked as Tagovailoa dropped back and drove Miami’s quarterback to the turf as he threw.
Tagovailoa remained down for a moment, grimacing and grabbing at his left side. He could barely walk — it was more like a slow shuffle — to the sideline. The cart was waiting to take him off the field and to the locker room area for evaluation, and Tagovailoa wasn’t seen again.
Tagovailoa was sacked twice on Miami’s first series, then took the big hit from Epenesa in the next series. Jacoby Brissett came in at quarterback.
“Thinking about him right now,” Brissett said of Tagovailoa. “I don’t want this to sound bad, but it’s part of the game, just being ready to go. My number was called. It wasn’t my first time in this situation.”
Tagovailoa’s diagnosis will determine what Miami does next. Tagovailoa and Brissett are the only quarterbacks on the active roster; Reid Sinnett is on the practice squad if the Dolphins choose to make a roster move.