Sep 19, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after being sacked by Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (rib) exits vs. Bills

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa left the field on a cart in the first quarter on Sunday and is questionable to return with a rib injury.

The second-year signal-caller took a hard shot from Buffalo Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa while attempting to complete a pass on fourth down on Miami’s second possession.

The training staff came out to assist Tagovailoa and helped him walk to the sideline, where he was later loaded onto a cart and taken to the locker room.

He completed 1 of 4 passes for 13 yards and was sacked twice before exiting.

Jacoby Brissett replaced Tagovailoa.

–Field Level Media

Jun 16, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) runs on the field during minicamp at Baptist Health Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins activate LT Austin Jackson from COVID list

The Miami Dolphins activated left tackle Austin Jackson from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

The 2020 first-round pick was placed on the list along with tight end Adam Shaheen on Sept. 6 after both tested positive.

Jackson, who is vaccinated, needed two negative tests separated by 24 hours to return to the active roster.

The Dolphins said Jackson will travel separately from the team to New England for Sunday’s season opener. He did not practice all week and is questionable for the game against the Patriots.

Jackson, 22, started 12 of his 13 games as a rookie last season.

Shaheen, who has been vocal with his anti-vaccination stance, must remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list for a minimum of 10 days.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to attempt a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QBs square off as Patriots meet Dolphins

A pair of championship-winning quarterbacks from Alabama will meet for the first time on an NFL field as Mac Jones and the New England Patriots play host to Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins in the season opener for both teams on Sunday afternoon.

Jones, who was selected at No. 15 overall by the Patriots in this year’s draft, is set to make his NFL debut after guiding the Crimson Tide to their 18th national title in a 52-24 rout of Ohio State a season ago.

To get the starting job in New England, the 23-year-old beat out former NFL MVP Cam Newton, whom the Patriots released Aug. 31.

Tagovailoa is entering his second NFL season after being drafted No. 5 overall in 2020. He started nine of his 10 games for the Dolphins as a rookie last season. As a freshman at Alabama in 2017, Tagovailoa helped lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship with a 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia.

Jones and Tagovailoa were teammates at Alabama during the 2019 season. A then-junior Tagovailoa began the year as the starter before a season-ending hip injury made Jones the starter.

“Tua’s an awesome guy. He’s really a good, talented football player,” Jones told Boston radio station WEEI about his Week 1 matchup. “Learning from him and (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) was great, obviously. Now that we’re all getting a chance here in the NFL, I think it’ll be cool to go up against each other.”

Jones will be surrounded be a revamped offense after the Patriots finished 7-9 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

The Patriots reloaded this offseason with the signings of tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne and the re-acquisition of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Brown.

Henry, who missed time during the preseason with a shoulder injury, said he expects to play on Sunday.

New England’s defense will also get a boost from returning two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who opted out of the 2020 season, as well as linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who re-signed with the Patriots after being cut by the Dolphins in March. The Patriots also brought in two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Matt Judon to bolster their front seven.

Tagovailoa will look to build on an up-and-down rookie campaign in which he threw for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. Miami narrowly missed the playoffs, going 10-6 under second-year coach and former Patriots assistant Brian Flores.

“Good fundamentals, good technique, good communication, good decisions, and that he has fun playing his game that he loves to play,” Flores said when asked about his second-year expectations for Tagovailoa. “I love coaching football. I’m going to be having fun on Sunday.”

Flores said the Dolphins are preparing to be without tackle Austin Jackson and tight end Adam Shaheen on Sunday. Both are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The game will feature the reunion of the McCourty brothers – Devin and Jason – who will be on opposite sidelines after spending the past three seasons together in New England. Jason McCourty was voted a team captain in his first season with Miami while Devin McCourty was named a captain in New England for the 11th time.

Agholor (ankle) was one of three Patriots players listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice report. Tackle Yodny Cajuste (hamstring) and safety Jalen Mills (ankle) also were limited. Miami tackle Liam Eichenberg (thigh) and wide receiver Preston Williams (foot) were limited participants for the Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

–Field Level Media

May 26, 2021; Davie, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Hunter Long (84) participates in OTA workouts at Baptist Health Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins TE Hunter Long carted off with leg injury

Miami Dolphins rookie tight end Hunter Long was carted off the practice field with an apparent leg injury Sunday.

Long, who turns 23 later this month, reportedly got shoved out of bounds after a sideline catch during 11-on-11 drills. Trainers inspected his left knee and he looked unable to put any weight on the leg while they helped him to the cart.

Miami selected Long in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Boston College, where he caught 57 passes for 685 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games in 2020.

The Dolphins were already thin at the position with returning starter Mike Gesicki landing on the COVID-19 reserve list earlier this month.

Long caught 89 passes for 1,297 yards and nine TDs in three seasons at Boston College. He ranked fifth in the ACC with an average of 18.2 yards per catch in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Dolphins restructure CB Xavien Howard’s contract

The Miami Dolphins have restructured star cornerback Xavien Howard’s contract following his trade request, ESPN reported Sunday.

Head coach Brian Flores said the team was “excited” to come to terms with the two-time Pro Bowl selection. He did not disclose financial details.

According to ESPN, Miami fully guaranteed Howard’s 2021 base salary of $12.785 million while adding up to $3.5 million in incentives. The team also adjusted his 2022 salary, including fully guaranteeing $6.775 million.

The Dolphins also agreed to rescind $93,000 in fines he accrued from skipping a mandatory minicamp this summer, per the report.

The report also said Howard received assurances that the team will renegotiate a new deal in the offseason based on his health and his performance in 2021.

Howard, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions and 20 passes defensed last season, became the league’s highest-paid cornerback when he signed a five-year, $75.1 million extension in 2019. He has since fallen to sixth in the NFL at the position.

He reported to training camp on July 27 and requested a trade later that night.

Howard added 51 tackles and one forced fumble in 16 games last season. He has 191 tackles, 22 interceptions and two forced fumbles in 56 career games (55 starts) since being selected by Miami in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Jan 5, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) and outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin (49) celebrate a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Dolphins signing LB Shaquem Griffin

The Miami Dolphins are signing former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin to a one-year deal, NFL Network reported Friday.

Griffin, who turned 26 on Tuesday, registered nine tackles, three quarterback hits and one sack in 14 games off the bench for Seattle in 2020.

A fifth-round pick in 2018, Griffin recorded 25 tackles, six quarterback hits and one sack in 46 games (one start) for Seattle.

Griffin’s twin brother, Shaquill, is a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Seahawks.

–Field Level Media

Sep 22, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Devin Smith (15) can not make the catch in the second quarter against Miami Dolphins safety Bobby McCain (28) at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Dolphins releasing veteran S Bobby McCain

The Miami Dolphins are releasing veteran safety Bobby McCain, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Parting ways with the 27-year-old captain clears $5.66 million in cap space, per the reports.

McCain played in all 16 games (15 starts) for the Dolphins in 2020 and posted 46 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2015, McCain registered 254 tackles, seven interceptions and four sacks in 87 games (55 starts) with Miami.

The Dolphins drafted Oregon safety Jevon Holland in the second round (36th overall) last week.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears defensive lineman John Jenkins (90) celebrates a tackle in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins sign veteran DT John Jenkins

The Miami Dolphins on Friday announced the signing of veteran defensive tackle John Jenkins. Terms were not disclosed.

Jenkins, 31, has played in 93 NFL games (28 starts) with five teams, including 16 games (five starts) with Miami in 2019.

He appeared in 11 games with the Chicago Bears in 2020 and made 21 tackles.

Originally a third-round pick by New Orleans in 2013, Jenkins has 176 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery with the Saints (2013-16), Seattle Seahawks (2016), Bears (2017, 2020), New York Giants (2018) and Dolphins.

–Field Level Media