Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa already has been ruled out of the Miami Dolphins Week 5 game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, but he's been around the team's facility this week.
And head coach Mike McDaniel says that will continue, so long as it doesn't cause any issues in Tagovailoa's recovery from the concussion he sustained in the 27-15 loss at Cincinnati last Thursday night.
“So at this point in time, he’s in the protocol, and it’s all about the only thing it’s about and that’s the health of the human being," McDaniel said. "It’s a change in routine for him, and he loves football and loves being around his teammates. He’ll be around as long as it doesn’t adversely affect him as best possible. He’s a captain of this team and we want him to be present as much as he can, but not at any sort of cost to his process, getting himself healthy, and going through that procedure. So that will be really case by case. I know if he’s able, he’ll be around as much as he can, because he’s already got FOMO. I can feel it.”
Multiple reports indicated that Tua was interviewed by NFL and NFLPA officials this week and ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques reported the goal is to have the investigation wrapped up by Thursday.
One final thing on the Tua situation, and it concerns the notion that the Dolphins ruled out Tua on Monday because of concerns over optics.
It's a notion with which Mike McDaniel took great offense.
“Optics are to the team and the players, and the second that I start doing things because I think it’s some answer that somebody else wants, that’s, to me, that I’m failing at my job," McDaniel said. "My job should start and end at what’s the best thing for the team and everybody involved — the players. It will always be about individual players first, because it’s in my title — coach. What does a coach do? You’re supposed to coach players. It’s the players’ opportunity that we have to take best advantage of. So no, that’s not really my speed, I would say. I feel like it’s very vital that the integrity of my position that I stay true, right, wrong or indifferent to whatever decision, but it’s done for the right reasons, and I won’t stray from that.”
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FEJEDELEM BACK IN ACTION
While a lot of focus this week was on whether cornerback Byron Jones would be able to return to practice and that news came back negative, safety Clayton Fejedelem did return to practice Wednesday.
Fejedelem has been on injured reserve since Sept. 1, which was after the cuts to the 53-player limit and therefore gave him the opportunity to return after he missed at least four games.
The Dolphins now have three weeks to decide how to proceed with Fejedelem, and they might have tough decisions to make as far as that's concerned.
Fejedelem is a special teams specialist and was a captain for that unit each of the past two seasons, but the Dolphins signed veteran special teams ace Justin Bethel when Fejedelem was placed on IR and he has, by all accounts, been very good.
The Dolphins currently have 10 defensive backs on their roster — Xavien Howard, Keion Crossen, Kader Kohou, Nik Needham, Noah Igbinoghene, Brandon Jones, Eric Rowe, Jevon Holland, Elijah Campbell and Bethel.
If the Dolphins activate Fejedelem, they would have to make a corresponding move because they're at 53 players after signing wide receiver River Cracraft to the active roster in time for the Cincinnati game.
FORMER DOLPHINS UPDATES
-- Guard Solomon Kindley, the 2020 Dolphins fourth-round pick who started 11 games as a rookie before falling out of favor and getting released this summer, has signed with the New York Giants practice squad.
-- Wide receiver Albert Wilson, released by the Vikings this summer, had a workout with the Las Vegas Raiders.
-- Veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who the Dolphins signed shortly before the start of training camp before releasing him in late August, visited the Detroit Lions, according to reporter Field Yates.
ON THIS DAY IN DOLPHINS HISTORY
Oct. 5, 1997 — The Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-14, at Pro Player Stadium, marking the 300th victory in franchise history, including playoffs. The Dolphins become the second team from the old AFL to reach the 300-win plateau. The Oakland Raiders were the first.
Oct. 5, 2015 — The Dolphins fire Joe Philbin, one day after a 27-14 loss against the New York Jets in London, England, drops their record to 1-3. Later that day, the team announces that tight ends coach Dan Campbell will serve as interim head coach.
Oct. 5, 2021 — The Dolphins trade Jakeem Grant, perhaps the best kick returner in franchise history, to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft.
THE FINAL WORD ...
Under the category of things that might interest only us, the 27-15 final score in the Cincinnati game was the first in Dolphins history.
Earlier, the Dolphins produced the first 42-38 final score in franchise history — and only the second ever in the NFL — in their Week 2 victory at Baltimore.