The very latest on the injury status of Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said he was 'very optimistic' that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will play Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Miami Dolphins don’t have to make an injury designation for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa until Wednesday. But if they needed to on Tuesday, they would have listed him as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.

Some 48 hours after a bruising win over the Buffalo Bills, the team held a walkthrough practice to prepare for the Bengals. But they still needed to submit an injury report estimating participation for their players had they practiced. McDaniel told reporters that Tagovailoa would have been limited in a normal practice on Tuesday.

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa injury update

McDaniel said Tagovailoa’s dual injuries — to his back and his ankle — have caused pain and instability. And McDaniel added that if Tua does play Thursday, he will do so through pain.

“I feel very optimistic [about Tagovailoa playing] because of the way he’s going about it,” McDaniel said.

If Tagovailoa cannot go, Teddy Bridgewater will start for Miami. McDaniel hopes to have a decision in place for his Week 4 starter by Wednesday.

Tagovailoa called McDaniel late Monday night just to chat.

“I could tell in his voice he’s going to do literally in his power [to play],” McDaniel said. “… If he doesn’t play, it literally wasn’t possible.”

Tua Tagovailoa discusses his back injury

Before the team’s walkthrough Tuesday, Tagovailoa was asked by reporters if he expects to play Thursday.

His response?

“That’s the plan. Doing everything I can to get back out there. Hopefully I can get out there and play.”

Tagovailoa said he’s spent the last two days at the team’s Miami Gardens training facility, “getting treatment, doing everything I can to get as close to 100% as possible.”

Tagovailoa said that the ankle injury isn’t nearly the impediment that the back injury is.

As for what exactly is impacted by his back injury?

“Everything,” Tagovailoa said — including his ability to twist and turn, to throw the ball, and hand it off. When he spoke to reporters Tuesday, he had not yet tried to throw but planned to later in the day.

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