Miami Dolphins' Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for COVID-19

Joe Schad
Palm Beach Post
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The Dolphins quarterback situation was the big story as 2021 dawned.

It was again Thursday, when Miami announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been placed on the league’s COVID-19 reserve list.

The Dolphins signed Jack Rudock, who practiced Thursday with Fitzpatrick out. On Saturday, Miami promoted quarterback Reid Sinnett from the practice squad.

Tua Tagovailoa was already slated to start at Buffalo  on Sunday with the Dolphins' playoff chances at stake. With Fitzpatrick out, it was not certain whether Rudock or Sinnett would serve as backup.

Fitzpatrick relieved Tagovailoa in last Saturday's come-from-behind victory at Las Vegas. Rudock, a South Florida native, has been Miami's emergency plan as a third quarterback in 2020.

"He picks up things really fast," Dolphins tight end Durham Smythe said of Rudock. "He's a guy who's stayed ready through this whole thing."

Dolphins coach Brian Flores discussed the matter with players Thursday.

"I got the news today," Dolphins defensive back Eric Rowe said. "It hurts. (Fitzpatrick) brings an energy. Nobody wants to catch COVID. But we just have to push forward."

In October, Fitzpatrick was asked about some games being impacted by COVID-19.

"Our staff and this organization is doing a great job with us," Fitzpatrick said. "That’s not to say that COVID is not going to enter the building. We just have to do everything we can to mitigate the risk of passing it on and having an outbreak. I don’t know that it’s anybody’s fault. I just think it’s the craziness of this virus."

In August, Fitzpatrick was asked about his concerns about COVID-19.

"We will continue to just be extremely careful with and again for the NFL and teams, there’s kind of a negative stigma I think that may be attached to getting coronavirus, but as we’ve seen it can kind of happen to anybody at any point in time," Fitzpatrick said. "We all just have to try to do our best to take care of not only ourselves but each other."

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It's now Tagovailoa's game — to start and finish — without question.

The rookie said he's never played a game in the snow. There's a chance of one to three inches in Buffalo.

Twice this season, Fitzpatrick has come in for Tagovailoa with the Dolphins trailing.

Meanwhile, it's unknown if the Bills will start quarterback Josh Allen with the possibility of coach Sean McDermott resting some key starters. Buffalo has clinched the second or third seed in the AFC and can't move up to the top spot and a playoff bye.

More:How young special teams players could decide Dolphins' fate at Bills

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