Tagovailoa did not play in Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans after fracturing the middle finger on his throwing hand the week prior. He practiced in limited fashion throughout the week before it was ultimately determined that he was not physically ready to play vs. Houston.
Jacoby Brissett would again start if Tagovailoa is unable to play. Under that scenario, Flores said that Tagovailoa would serve as the backup rather than Jake Dolegala, who would have to be called up from practice squad.
“[Tua] is definitely making progress,” Flores said Tuesday. “There’s definitely discomfort. The swelling is down. It’s getting better. There’s progress from last week but there’s still limitations.”
Tagovailoa has missed the better part of five games this season, including a three-game stint on injured reserve with fractured ribs. He also missed one game with a thumb injury as a rookie.
Flores admitted some of Tagovailoa’s injuries were “fluky” but he also agreed that availability must be considered when evaluating a player.
“Obviously, availability is very important. There’s a lot of factors that play into that,” Flores said. “It’s not the only factor. The person, the player, the talent — I think Tua is competitive. He’s smart. He wants to be out there. I think he’s getting better.
“I think we all know that in order to continue to get better, you need to be out there and get the experience. I think he’ll get that. This is another bump in the road for him but he’ll get through it and he’ll be fine.”
In five appearances this season, Tagovailoa has completed 65.6% of his passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions. He has also added 62 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.