Dolphins to start rookie QB Thompson in wildcard clash

Rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson will start for the injury-hit Miami Dolphins in their wildcard playoff game at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, coach Mike McDaniel said.

Thompson is the third choice quarterback on the Dolphins' depth chart but McDaniel has been left with no choice due to injuries to his two other signal-callers.

First choice starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa missed the last two regular season games after being placed in the league's concussion protocol.

Back-up Teddy Bridgewater is still struggling with a finger injury and so Thompson will be handed his third career start in what is the Dolphins' first playoff game in six years.

"Skylar is going to start. Teddy's done a great job really just being a part of the team, getting himself closer and closer to being able to play the way that he knows he needs to play. Really doing whatever it takes so that we can have him available on Sunday. But yeah, Skylar will get the start," said McDaniel.

Thompson, drafted out of Kansas State as a seventh round pick, completed 20 of 31 passes for 152 yards and no interceptions in last week's 11-6 win over the New York Jets, which secured Miami's first post-season appearance since 2016.

It is 22 years since Miami won a playoff game but the Bills, who won the AFC East, start as clear favourites.

The teams split their series this year, with Miami winning 21-19 at home in week three and the Bills enjoying a 32-29 victory in December.

But Miami have won just once in four games without Tagovailoa under center and suffered a run of five straight losses before their win against the Jets.

Thompson will be up against a Bills defense that ranks second in the league in points conceded but McDaniel says he and his team are used to overcoming the odds.

"I think most guys on NFL teams have been told they couldn't. It's a really good football team that we're playing, so we probably agree with people in that regard. Arguably the best in the league, it's right up there," he said.

"It's more about playing the football game to the best of our ability and being happy with our investment. If you're happy with your investment, you can live with the outcome, regardless of what it is," he said.