No wildcard return for Dolphins' Tagovailoa

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will not be making a return to action for Sunday's wildcard playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, team coach Mike McDaniel said.

Tagovailoa missed the last two regular season games after being placed in the league's concussion protocol.

"As of today, Tua has not been cleared by doctors to resume football activities on the field with his teammates, so because of that and because of the time that he's missed, I can rule him out for Sunday," McDaniel said on Wednesday.

Skylar Thompson started at quarterback for the Dolphins in last week's win over the New York Jets which secured them their first post-season slot since 2016.

Rookie Thompson had been Miami's third choice quarterback but back-up Teddy Bridgewater suffered a finger injury in the week 17 loss to the New England Patriots.

"Teddy is still working his way back... as it stands right now he's working to prepare himself to be capable on Sunday, but as a result of that, he can't afford any setbacks or really anything that's conflicting against the healing process in the week," said McDaniel who added that in the meantime he was preparing for Thompson for another possible start.

Thompson, drafted out of Kansas State as a seventh round pick, completed 20 of 31 passes for 152 yards and no interceptions in the 11-6 win over the Jets.

McDaniel was impressed by the way the quarterback had handled the pressure of making his first start in a must-win game for Miami.

"The mental fortitude, the composure, that's something that should be praised because it's pretty impressive and not easy to do." he said.

The Bills. who won the AFC East with a 13-2 record, beat the Dolphins on December 17 in Buffalo having lost in Miami in September.

Buffalo, led by quarterback Josh Allen, will start the game as favourites against a Miami team who lost five in a row before Sunday's victory.

"You prefer not to lose five in a row. But I think it also more precisely speaks to the level of determination, the lack of splintering. There's something to be proud of there, too, because that is hard to do clearly," said McDaniel.

"I think they're just excited to play a football game against arguably the best football team in the NFL," he added.