Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for COVID-19, out vs. Bills

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 12/31/20

The Miami Dolphins will be without some magic for the regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills, a game that could become a must-win for Miami. 

NFL Network and ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe confirmed on Thursday that veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be available through the weekend. Rookie Tua Tagovailoa, who was benched in favor of Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders, will get the start at Buffalo. 

That was the second time this season head coach Brian Flores sat his first-year pro to insert a little “FitzMagic” into his offense during a contest. The decision worked to Flores’ benefit in Week 16. Fitzpatrick guided the Dolphins on a dramatic last-minute drive that culminated in a game-winning field goal to improve Miami to 10-5 overall. 

Fitzpatrick posted a 4-3 record as a starter this season and threw for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions overall. 

Jake Rudock, who has attempted five passes in meaningful NFL games during his career, was signed to Miami’s 53-man roster on Thursday and will serve as Tagovailoa’s backup for Miami’s biggest matchup of the campaign. 

The Dolphins can’t expect Buffalo to merely go through the motions on the first Sunday of the new year. The Bills may need to win to secure the No. 2 seed in the AFC postseason bracket. Miami can still make the playoffs with a loss, however, if one of the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns or Indianapolis Colts suffers a Week 17 defeat. 

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