Following a loss to the Jets, the Miami Dolphins (3-2) are looking to get back on track as they host the Minnesota Vikings (4-1) Sunday. This marks the first time this season that the Dolphins will be facing a NFC opponent.
Skylar Thompson gets his first start
With quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater both in concussion protocol, the Dolphins will turn to rookie seventh round pick Skylar Thompson on Sunday. This will be the rookie quarterback’s first start of his NFL career.
A look at all Dolphins QBs during early open portion of practice. Skylar Thompson will start, per Mike McDaniel who noted Teddy Bridgewater would backup if he clears concussion protocol by tomorrow and Tua Tagovailoa should be inactive. pic.twitter.com/HHavEHfKUu
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 14, 2022
Thompson came in relief last week for Teddy Bridgewater, who left the game on the opening drive. Thompson was 19/33 for 166 yards and one interception.
Despite his performance, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said he believes Thompson will be better prepared after a full week practicing with the starters. McDaniel also acknowledged that although Thompson is starting this weekend, that does not mean he is the number two quarterback behind Tagovailoa.
Bridgewater is the team’s backup quarterback, however, McDaniel said he wanted this week’s starter to practice every day with the first unit. Since Bridgewater is still going through concussion protocol, McDaniel gave the start to Thompson.
McDaniel says the fact Skylar is starting doesn't mean he is the No. 2 QB; Teddy still is, behind Tua (who's out Sunday): "We're starting Skylar because he thought it was best for the team having the week to prepare."
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 14, 2022
Dolphins Xavien Howard Returns From Injury
Although the Fins will be without their starting quarterback, they will be getting a major boost on defense as cornerback Xavien Howard returns from injury. Howard missed the Dolphins’ previous game against the Jets with a groin injury.
Xavien Howard said he's feeling a lot better and will play on Sunday against vikings
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 12, 2022
Howard is arguably the most important member of the Dolphins defense, as he has led the team in interceptions each of the past two seasons. In fact, Howard was the NFL’s leader in interceptions in 2020 with ten.
Most Interceptions – Since 2017
Xavien Howard 27
J.C. Jackson 25
Kevin Byard 23
Quandre Diggs 19
Justin Simmons 19 pic.twitter.com/0enZ0TsAoS
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 7, 2022
Dolphins prepare for NFL’s receiving leader
Howard’s return is critical for the Dolphins as they prepare to face Justin Jefferson and the Vikings. Jefferson had a monster game last week against the Chicago Bears, as he hauled in 12 receptions for 154 yards in the Vikings win. That was enough for him to surpass Cooper Kupp as the NFL’s receiving leader.
Dolphins CB Xavien Howard said he plans to play Sunday vs. Vikings after missing last week’s game with Jets with both groins injured.
Howard hated to miss a game but it was much needed recovery and did good for his health ahead of key battle with Justin Jefferson & Adam Thielen
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 12, 2022
The Dolphins and Vikings are set to kickoff Sunday at 1 p.m. from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.