NFL News & Analysis

Miami Dolphins place QB Tua Tagovailoa on injured reserve

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after being sacked by Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for at least three weeks.

The Dolphins placed Tagovailoa on injured reserve Saturday and promoted QB Reid Sinnett from the practice squad to the active roster.

Jacoby Brissett, a sixth-year NFL veteran, is expected to start in place of Tagovailoa. Sinnett, a preseason standout, will serve as Brissett’s backup.

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Tagovailoa generated the league's lowest big-time throw rate (2.3%) as a rookie in 2020 and has recorded just one big-time throw across 35 dropbacks (3.0%) this season. Click here to view Tua Tagovailoa's career in PFF Premium Stats.

Brissett has extensive experience as a starter and was solid in relief against the Bills, earning a 70.1 PFF overall grade with a 78.4% adjusted completion rate, both of which ranked 18th among 34 qualifying signal-callers in Week 2. Click here to view QB stats from Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. 

Jacoby Brissett: PFF overall grades since 2016
Season Snaps played PFF grade
2021 67 72.3
2020 48 73.7
2019 947 59.2
2018 18 57.8
2017 989 62.4
2016 156 51.9

The concern with Brissett at quarterback is that he averages 2.93 seconds to throw for his career, almost half a second longer than Tua. His tendency to hold on to the ball could potentially expose a weak Miami offensive line. Miami has hidden their offensive line well with Tua and now needs to do the same for Brissett. Click here to view Jacoby Brissett's career in PFF Premium Stats.

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Downgrade all Dolphins' skill players: While Tagovailoa wasn't lighting up box scores, he got the ball out quickly and stretched the field vertically. Brissett has a career average depth of target of 8.0 yards and will try to get the ball to his weapons downfield, but his lengthy average time to throw could lead to more sacks and stalled drives. None of the Dolphins' pass-catchers belong among the top-36 receivers this weekend against the Raiders despite Will Fuller V‘s return. Click here for PFF's Week 3 fantasy football rankings.

Gaskin loses value: Brissett targeted Myles Gaskin on 10% of his attempts in Week 2, a downgrade from the 19% target rate the running back experienced with Tagovailoa. Brissett is more willing to scramble (6% of snaps last week), and this could undermine Gaskin's role in the passing game, which is the foundation of his fantasy value. Consider Gaskin a low-end RB3 as long as Brissett is at the helm. Click here for PFF's Week 3 fantasy football projections.

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, over/under and player props.


Dolphins' disastrous futures: Tua's injury is the worst-case scenario for a Dolphins team that went all-in on him this offseason. Brissett doesn't provide the same kind of insurance as Ryan Fitzpatrick once did as the team's backup and is worth less than one point to the spread. PFF's simulation was already low on the Dolphins' 9.5-game win total. Although nothing is currently listed outside of conference and Super Bowl odds, the Dolphins look like a clear team to sell if Tua misses multiple weeks. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

Dolphins player props: Miami is yet to field all three of its top pass-catchers in the same game. With Brissett distributing the ball, don't expect immediate success. The under on any Dolphins pass-catching player props is the only side for the foreseeable future. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, over/under and player props. 

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