DAVIE, Fla. Ryan Fitzpatrick, veteran quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, a source told ESPN.
The Dolphins and NFL conducted initial contact detection without determining high-risk close contact, a source told ESPN, but the process will continue. Fitzpatrick trained fully on Wednesday and was not listed in the injury report, but he did not train on Thursday afternoon, indicating that the positive COVID-19 test was a surprise recently.
Rookie Tua Tagovailoa is the Dolphins’ starting quarterback, but Fitzpatrick has already been called up twice in the fourth quarter to play what coach Brian Flores plays compared to a “ninth innings lightning” role. Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins to a 26-25 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday after a 34-year-old innings was linked to a 15-yard penalty mask with a face mask.
The Dolphins signed Jake Rudock to the 53-man list on Thursday and he is expected to be the backing of Tagovailoa on Sunday. Tagovailoa, Rudock and Reid Sinnett, quarterbacks of the training group, trained fully on Thursday.
NFL Network first reported the positive test of Fitzpatrick.
The Dolphins will reach a playoff spot with a win over the Bills. They can still reach the playoffs with a loss, but they will need a loss from the Cleveland Browns (against a Steelers team that started the most important), Indianapolis Colts (against Jaguars) or Baltimore Ravens (against Bengals). The bills, which clinched the AFC East but could earn the No. 2 or No. 3 seed based on Week 17 results, were prudent about whether they would play their beginners.
Fitzpatrick, 38, is 4-3 as a starter this season, throwing for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.