The Miami Dolphins are expected to have starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa back from injury for Sunday night’s home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 08:20 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
The Sunday night game this week features Pittsburgh visiting Miami for the first time since 2016. Unfortunately, we aren’t going to know the Steelers’ quarterback situation until later this week.
The teams last met on a Monday night in Week 8 of the 2019 season in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers won 27-14. Mason Rudolph was the Steelers’ QB then and threw for 251 yards, two scores, and a pick. If he sees the field Sunday, things may go really wrong for Pittsburgh.
James Conner rushed for 145 yards and a TD but is now in Arizona. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Fins’ QB (now retired) and threw for 190 yards with two TDs and two picks.
The underdog is 4-1 against the spread on the NFL odds in the past five meetings.
Will Pickett Play For Pittsburgh?
The Steelers snapped a four-game losing streak with a pretty shocking 20-18 home upset of the Buccaneers on Sunday as 10-point underdogs on the NFL odds. They did that despite losing rookie starting quarterback Kenny Pickett in the second half to a concussion.
He was 11-for-18 for 67 yards and a touchdown before leaving – too early to know if Pickett will be ready for this one. His head appeared to hit the turf after being legally pushed to the ground by Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White just after releasing a pass. The league isn’t messing around with concussions these days.
If he can’t go, Mitchell Trubisky would start, and he was great vs. the Bucs, completing 9-for-12 for 144 yards and a score: “Mitch was put in a tough spot and he never wavered," said Pittsburgh wide receiver Chase Claypool, whose 6-yard touchdown reception with 9:59 remaining provided the winning points. "Love that guy."
Other Injuries in Steelers Lineup
Linebacker Devin Bush knocked away a 2-point conversion attempt with 4:38 remaining after Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Leonard Fournette cut Pittsburgh's lead to two. Pittsburgh had never won a game without TJ Watt, the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he’ll remain out this week.
Top tight end Pat Freiermuth missed it with a concussion, his third in 10 months, so he’s probably out again. The team also was without four of its top players in the secondary –including Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, a former Dolphin.
"We really practiced hard this week and dove into the details," said cornerback Josh Jackson, who along with James Pierre, Quincy Wilson and Elijah Riley were thrust into more prominent roles in this game. "Everybody did what they were supposed to do. It was a great win to be a part of.”
Dolphins Have Had QB Issues
Miami lost its third in a row Sunday 24-16 at home vs. Minnesota, but frankly was expected to lose because No. 1 quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was out with a concussion and No. 2 Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t able to start with his own injury.
Rookie seventh-round pick Skylar Thompson got the start and was 7-for-13 for 89 yards before leaving with a thumb injury. Bridgewater replaced him, but Tua is expected back for this one. It marked the third straight week that the Dolphins' starting quarterback was unable to finish the game.
"You can look at it as a reason for X, Y or Z –I challenge the guys not to," Coach Mike McDaniel said in not blaming the QB injuries for the losing streak. "We have a lot of faith in all the players that we have on this team, and the quarterbacks that we've been working with since last April, any one of them we have high expectations to go execute and succeed. Now, of course it's not ideal. You want the guys that get all the reps during the week to play, but you always know that that's a possibility.”
How’s the Rest of the Lineup Doing?
Both Tyreek Hill (177 yards) and Jaylen Waddle (129 yards) had 100-yard games yet the Fins still only managed 16 points. Hill’s 701 yards receiving are a franchise record through the first six games of a season and leads the NFL.
Cornerback Nik Needham was carted off the field with a lower leg injury, a torn Achilles tendon that will sideline him for the rest of the season.
Linebacker Trey Flowers and cornerback Keion Crossen also left with foot and knee injuries, respectively, and did not return.
Miami is 7-2 ATS in its past nine home games, so keep that in mind for this NFL pick.
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