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Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel announced Friday that rookie seventh-round pick Skylar Thompson will start against the New York Jets on Sunday.
McDaniel ruled out starter Tua Tagovailoa for the second consecutive week due to his placement in concussion protocol, while backup Teddy Bridgewater is questionable to suit up after suffering a finger injury in last week’s loss to the New England Patriots.
Sunday’s game is a huge one for the 8-8 Dolphins since they can earn a playoff spot with a win, plus a Patriots loss to the Buffalo Bills. A loss would eliminate Miami from playoff contention.
When Tagovailoa was in concussion protocol for the first time earlier this season and Bridgewater was also out injured, Thompson earned his first career start in Week 6.
The former Kansas State standout struggled, completing seven of his 13 pass attempts for 89 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Overall, Thompson has appeared in six games this season, including extensive action in relief in Weeks 5 and 17.
In Week 5, Thompson replaced the injured Bridgewater against the Jets and played relatively well, going 19-of-33 for 166 yards with no touchdowns and one pick in a 40-17 blowout loss.
Thompson was called upon again last week when Bridgewater injured his finger, and he had an up-and-down showing against New England, going 12-of-21 for 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
As a whole, Thompson is completing 54.1 percent of his passes this season for 382 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
There remains a chance that Bridgewater could be active for Sunday’s game, but even if he is, it will be in a backup capacity to Thompson.
With Tagovailoa at the helm, the Dolphins were once considered one of the NFL’s top teams this season, as they raced out to starts of 3-0 and 8-3. Tua has performed close to a Pro Bowl level when healthy, completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions with help from the superstar wide receiver duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
The Dolphins have lost five consecutive games, however, including a 26-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, which saw Tagovailoa throw interceptions on each of Miami’s final three offensive possessions.
While it wasn’t discovered until the next day, Tagovailoa suffered a concussion during the Green Bay game and hasn’t played since.
If Bridgewater is not healthy enough to be active Sunday, Thompson will be backed up by Mike Glennon, who the team signed this week.
Glennon is a 33-year-old journeyman veteran who has appeared in games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants since 2013.
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