Dolphins’ Tagovailoa to miss at least three games. And another assistant coach sidelined

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The Miami Dolphins on Saturday placed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least three games because of fractured ribs.

That decision means Tagovailoa will miss Sunday’s game at Las Vegas (as previously announced), the Oct. 3 game against Indianapolis and the Oct. 10 game at Tampa Bay.

The earlier Tagovailoa can return from his injury is Oct. 17 against Jacksonville in London.

Jacoby Brissett will replace him as the Dolphins’ starter. Reid Sinnett replaced Tagovailoa on the 53-man roster and will back up Brissett.

The Dolphins opted to put Tagovailoa on IR instead of using the NFL’s “elevation” mechanism to make Sinnett the 54th player on the 53-man roster. Players can be elevated from the practice squad twice per season, but Miami bypassed that option with Sinnett.

Sinnett threw for 343 yards in the preseason finale at Cincinnati, the most by any NFL quarterback in preseason.

He was active and the Dolphins’ backup QB when Tagovailoa missed a game at the Jets last November and was Tagovailoa’s backup for the season finale at Buffalo because Ryan Fitzpatrick was in COVID-19 protocol for that game. Sinnett did not appear in either of those two games.

Tagovailoa’s type of injury - bruised ribs - can take four to six weeks to heal. But there had been hope that he might be able to return sooner than that by taking a pain injection and wearing a flak jacket. Returning too soon from fractured ribs can put a player at risk of sustaining a punctured lung.

Tagovailoa sustained the injury when he was sacked early in last Sunday’s game against Buffalo.

TWO COACHES SIDELINED

Linebackers coach Anthony Campanile and outside linebackers coach Rob Leonard will miss Sunday’s game due to the NFL’s COVID protocols. The team’s remaining defensive assistants will assume their responsibilities.

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