Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Miami Dolphins tested positive for COVID-19 and is expected to miss the final game of the regular season Sunday in Buffalo.
Coach Brian Flores shared the news with Fitzpatrick’s teammates during a meeting Thursday via Zoom, safety Eric Rowe said. Fitzpatrick’s positive test was first reported by the NFL Network.
“It hurts,” Rowe said. “He is a leader of our team. Provides energy, even in meetings by Zoom. But we must move on. I only pray for his health ”.
Fitzpatrick replaced Tua Tagovailoa last week in the fourth quarter and orchestrated an unlikely comeback against Las Vegas that allowed the Dolphins to maintain control of their playoff chances.
“He’s our partner,” wide receiver Isaiah Ford said. But if this year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. We love Ryan, but we have a job to do. “
Flores had previously designated Tagovailoa as the starting quarterback this week.
Fitzpatrick’s availability for a wild card game next week would be in doubt. The 16-year veteran has never played in the playoffs, but the Dolphins (10-5) can lock up an AFC ticket if they beat Buffalo.
Fitzpatrick trained on Wednesday but did not attend Thursday’s practice.
The Dolphins’ lineup was only slightly altered by COVID-19. Only one of his starting players – running back Myles Gaskin – went on the coronavirus list in December, and he has missed two commitments.
“We have all had to make certain sacrifices,” Flores said last week. “Overall it’s been good as long as our players follow the protocols, make the sacrifice and take smart action. However, this is not over yet ”.
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