Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be back under center in Week 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals after he was previously sidelined due to a thumb injury, per NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport. The rookie was given most of the first-team reps in practice over Ryan Fitzpatrick in preparation for his looming return on the field.
Tagovailoa hasn't played since he was benched midway through the Dolphins' Week 11 encounter against the Denver Broncos for poor play. Fitzpatrick took over but failed to mount a successful comeback as the Dolphins recorded their fourth loss of the season in a 20-13 decision.
The rookie then jammed his thumb during one of the team's practices ahead of their matchup against the New York Jets in Week 12. Tagovailoa remained on the sidelines while Fitzpatrick started the game and steered the team with tallies of 257 passing yards on 24-of-39 passing and two touchdowns en route to a dominant 20-3 victory.
While Fitzpatrick earned that win, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores always insisted Tagovailoa would return to the starting role as long as he was healthy, even after the benching. Tua's projected return to the gridiron in Week 13 serves as an encouraging sign for the Dolphins, who are looking to further establish their position in the ongoing playoff race. They are currently in second place in the AFC East with a 7-4 win-loss tally, one game behind the Buffalo Bills.
Tua Tagovailoa will look to bounce back and continue on their winning momentum as they host the Joe Burrow-less Bengals for their upcoming game.