The Miami Dolphins are reeling amid two consecutive losses, largely because their quarterback situation is a mess. Tua Tagovailoa got off to an MVP-caliber start before at least one, officially diagnosed concussion sidelined him. When speculation swirled that Tua suffered a previous, unconfirmed concussion prior to the obvious one he had in a Thursday night matchup with the Bengals, the NFLPA immediately changed the protocols for that specific injury.
Specifics of the changed protocols are nebulous and unclear, but it's safe to say there may have been an overcorrection since Teddy Bridgewater, who passed concussion tests and showed no symptoms, was held out after one series of last week's loss to the Jets.
Now, the Fins are on third-string QB Skylar Thompson as their starter. And look...the intrigue will never cease around the most important position on the field. But the fact that McDaniel — who's not a medical expert and has made that abundantly clear many times — got to the podium Friday and hadn't answered a single question about Miami's Sunday opponent, the Vikings, is pretty wild.
Even beat reporters are looking for juicy soundbites and will steer questions in that direction, even at the expense of quality, wholesome coverage sometimes. I get it. At the same time, Fins fans will want to hear more beyond the hot-button issue that their organization is taking so much heat for.
Later on in the presser, McDaniel spoke about his lengthy relationship over the years with Minnesota coach Kevin O'Connell, and how he was actually evaluating him as a QB prospect very early in his coaching career. Wild to think that they're now squaring off as first-year head coaches.
Wild fun fact that only came up once the Vikings were the greater focus of the press conference: This is only the second matchup since 1930 between rookie head coaches under the age of 40 who have winning records!
See what cool shit you can learn when you're not continuing to harp on the lazy, tired story that everyone else has been dissecting all week? Just proves McDaniel's point!
And how about the rookie in Thompson who forced Miami's hand with an excellent preseason to give him a roster spot? Most teams are reluctant to keep three QBs. Nobody could've imagined Thompson thriving as well as he did given such low draft status. Now, it looks like a move that could actually give the Dolphins a chance at an upset over the upstart 4-1 Vikings.
All I know is, this is a huge matchup for Coach of the Year honors. O'Connell and McDaniel are two of the major front-runners along with new Giants boss Brian Daboll. If the G-Men maintain their hot start, Daboll will likely run away with the award. McDaniel could get a huge leg up by knocking off O'Connell, matching his 4-2 record and getting a head-to-head victory with a third-string QB.