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Tua Tagovailoa returns to practice; Dolphins hope he can play Sunday in London

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passes against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has fractured ribs and wont play Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 when the Dolphins visit the Raiders. Miami coach Brian Flores did not want to offer a timetable for a potential return but said Tagovailoa is already improving. Jacoby Brissett will start against Las Vegas.(AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passes against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has fractured ribs and wont play Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 when the Dolphins visit the Raiders. Miami coach Brian Flores did not want to offer a timetable for a potential return but said Tagovailoa is already improving. Jacoby Brissett will start against Las Vegas.(AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Tua Tagovailoa took another step closer to returning to game action on Wednesday.

The second year quarterback was on the practice field for the first time since breaking his ribs against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.

Head Coach Brian Flores said, “We’re excited to get him back. I know he’s excited to get out there. We’ll take it one day at a time still, but we’re moving enough in the right direction that he’ll be out there. He’ll have an opportunity to practice and hopefully play in the game.”

One of the big issues for Tagovailoa will be managing the pain.

Flores said, “If you ask him, he’s 100 percent, he’s fine. So he’s not going to tell anybody any different. He’s made a lot of progress but we know he’s dealing with something. He’s going to tough it out. That’s just the type of kid he is. But we’ve just got to see how it goes through practice, get back into the swing of things and we’re hopeful that he’ll do well in practice today and be available this weekend.”

One factor to consider in Tagovailoa’s possible return is that this is not a normal week for the Dolphins.

They’ll fly overseas Thursday and practice in London on Friday.

Flores added, “The flight, that could be something to consider. It’s a longer flight but with his situation, it’s not. This is really just let’s see how this goes at practice, can he make the throws, can he roll to his left, roll to his right, step up in the pocket,. The one thing we won’t know is taking a hit. We won’t know that until the game but we’ll try to do as much as we can to get a feel for what that will look like or what that will feel like without having a setback obviously. I’ll say this, he’s a tough kid. He’s a tough kid.”


About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.