Tua Tagovailoa has fractured ribs, will miss Week 3 versus Raiders

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The Miami Dolphins appeared to have escaped a disastrous Week 2 performance against the Buffalo Bills without much incident — with initial reports that the team’s starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, suffered only bruised ribs during his brief appearance.

As it turns out, the damage was more severe than initially believed. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores revealed on Wednesday morning that Tagovailoa has fractured ribs from the big hit he took at the hands of Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa and will not play on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

This is a big departure from the initial news coming out of South Florida on Sunday evening and earlier in the week, but it is now the road that Dolphins must take as they look to stabilize their offensive performance after two largely erratic weeks of offensive play.

This is exactly the reason why the Dolphins paid this offseason to bring in Jacoby Brissett as the team’s backup quarterback — for instances like this. And now Brissett is going to have to earn his paycheck on the field for a Dolphins team that entered the year with hopes of playoff berth but suddenly find themselves on rocky footing in the early chapters of the season.

By the time Tagovailoa is ready to return, whenever that may be, here’s hoping the Dolphins’ protection issues from Week 2 are ironed out and that the team can keep Tagovailoa better protected in the pocket moving forward. But this painful turn of events could loom large over Miami’s season in the weeks to come.

We’ll see how the Dolphins are able to respond.