nfl

Tua Tagovailoa ruled out. Skylar Thompson to the rescue... maybe?


Author: Kate MagdziukPublished: 01/11/23

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Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) was officially ruled out for the team's Wild Card matchup against the Buffalo Bills Wednesday. It's #NextManUp time, but that next man up, Teddy Bridgewater, is also injured. So now, it's #NextManUp 2.0 time.

Enter rookie QB Skyler Thompson, who's set to make the third start of his NFL career in the chaos that is the postseason.

Thompson went 1-1 In his first two starts with the team, averaging a 57% completion rate on his 105 attempts so far this season. Pair that with his lone passing touchdown and three interceptions, and suddenly, the Dolphins don't look so hot. Thompson did show some promise in the preseason, though, so perhaps not all hope is lost.

Preseason stats should always be taken with a grain of salt. Quarterbacks are facing backups on defense, often working with backup receivers and a surrounding cast of practice squad hopefuls. However, in Thompson's limited action, he threw for 450 passing yards, 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had the second-highest passer rating (138.4) and ranked fourth in yards per attempt (9.4) among quarterbacks with at least 20 dropbacks.

Now, he'll face a vaunted Buffalo defense, a stout unit now surely reenergized following the news that teammate Damar Hamlin was discharged from the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the field. They've allowed just 17.9 points per game to opposing offenses (second-fewest) and 319 yards per game (sixth-fewest) on the season so far — a matchup that means nothing good for poor Skylar Thompson.

There are a lot of questions that remain for the Dolphins. Namely, when is the next time we'll see Tagovailoa under center? If they managed a miracle upset over the Bills (stranger things have happened!), would he return for the Divisional Round? There's plenty to speculate on, but the first step in making any of those speculations relevant would be a miraculous upset of the Bills, in Buffalo. Good luck, rookie!

What does Skylar Thompson mean for betting odds?

In short, the betting odds for Dolphins-Bills shouldn't change much with the official news that Tagovailoa was ruled out. This was already pretty expected, and the Bills were already heavily favored to win this game.

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(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)


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