Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores expects QB Tua Tagovailoa to start against the New York Jets

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MIAMI – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to start against the New York Jets, coach Brian Flores said on Monday, after missing his last two starts with a broken finger on his throwing hand.

Tagovailoa missed Miami’s game against the Houston Texans in Week 9 and sat out the first half against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10 before entering the game in relief from an injured Jacoby Brissett. The Dolphins won both games.

The overall No. 5 in the 2020 draft suffered the injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8, but was able to end the game. However, after worsening his finger last week against Baltimore, Tagovailoa is not yet 100 percent healthy.

“He’s definitely limited, there’s definitely some discomfort,” Flores said. “He slapped his finger again, so we’ll just have to monitor that during the week.”

Flores said Tagovailoa had a hard time driving the ball down the pitch last week, leading him to start Brissett for the second game in a row. He also wanted to protect second-year quarterback from injuring his finger further – which Tagovailoa ended up doing against the Ravens.

Tagovailoa still finished the game by completing 8 of 13 passes in 158 yards and rushed after a 1-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. He confirmed that his finger “does not feel good” after the 22-10 victory and was grateful for the extra time he would get to heal before the Dolphins traveled to New York in Week 11.

“Obviously he will get some discomfort with his finger. He hit it the other day, which we tried to avoid,” Flores said. “But he’s had some time to rest it. He wants to train today and [Tagovailoa playing is] my expectations for this weekend. “

Tagovailoa has missed four games this season – three due to broken ribs he sustained early in Week 2 that landed him on injured reserve, and one due to his broken finger. Brissett filled in for him in each case, but left Thursday’s fight with a knee injury.

Flores said Brissett was allowed to return, but the team decided to stay with Tagovailoa. Brissett will be limited in practice all week.

“It was a kind of scary situation, but luckily it wasn’t all that serious,” Flores said. “Let’s call [Brissett] day to day.”

Miami has won two games in a row after taking a losing streak of seven games earlier in the season. ESPN’s FPI rankings give the Dolphins the third easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, but only a 1.7% chance of getting into the playoffs.