MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – Skylar Thompson’s expected one-week run as the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback lasted just over one quarter.
And the revolving door of a team under center continued.
Thompson left Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with a bloodied right thumb, marking the fourth straight week the Dolphins have seen their starting quarterback leave the game — and likely the third straight game in which Miami’s starter has not finished.
The severity of the injury was not immediately known. The Dolphins said Thompson could not return.
Thompson made his first career start as the Dolphins’ top two quarterbacks were in the NFL’s concussion protocols. Tua Tagovailoa has been in the protocols since he was injured in the Sept. 29 game against Cincinnati, and his backup, Teddy Bridgewater, has been in the protocols after being injured on the first play of Miami’s Oct. 9 game against the New York Jets.
Both Tagovailoa and Bridgewater were removed from the protocol list on Saturday.
Bridgewater checked into the game after Thompson left. Tagovailoa was inactive for the game against the Vikings, but is expected to return to a starting role for Miami’s Oct. 23 primetime game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Thompson was 7 for 13 for 89 yards on Miami’s first three drives. He became the 25th different quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season to start a game for the Dolphins.
He was also Miami’s third different starter in as many weeks — the first time that has happened for the Dolphins in nearly 12 years, after Chad Pennington, Tyler Thigpen and Chad Henne started back-to-back weeks midway through the 2010 season.
Tagovailoa started against Cincinnati in Week 4, leaving the game on a stretcher in a terrifying scene. He was ejected from that game four days after he was cleared to return to the game against the Buffalo Bills despite hitting the back of his head on the turf, then getting back to his feet and wobbling. The Dolphins later said the nod was caused by a back injury.
An unrelated neurotrauma consultant assigned to work the Bills game, who has since been fired from that position after a brief investigation, found no head injury and allowed Tagovailoa to continue the game.
That decision, combined with Tagovailoa’s scene on the field in Cincinnati a few days later, prompted swift and significant changes in concussion protocols by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The most significant addition was that an abnormality of balance and/or stability would be a symptom that prohibits the player from returning to the game.
The Dolphins also lost cornerback Nick Needham in the second quarter Sunday to an ankle injury. He was taken in for evaluation and quickly ruled out.
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