Dolphins optimistic Fitzpatrick’s positive COVID-19 test is isolated case

In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambles during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots. (Charles Krupa, File, AP)

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores expressed optimismy about the likelihood quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s coronavirus infection is an isolated case within the team.

"We’ve taken every precaution," Flores said Friday. "We’ve followed the protocols. As far as close contacts, we’re in good shape from that standpoint."

Fitzpatrick went on the reserve-COVID-19 list Thursday and is expected to miss the regular-season finale at Buffalo on Sunday, when Miami will try to clinch an AFC wild-card berth. Every player on the active roster practiced Thursday and Friday, an indication none was identified as a high-risk close contact with Fitzpatrick.

Rookie Tua Tagovailoa will start his ninth game in a row Sunday, and veteran Jake Rudock signed Thursday as the new backup quarterback.

Fitzpatrick came off the bench in the fourth quarter last week to rally Miami to an improbable win at Las Vegas. He’s now sidelined on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time in his 16-year career.

"He’s a big part of the team," Flores said. "It’s disappointing for him more than anything. I know how important this team is to him. We’ll just push forward and give our best effort on Sunday."

Receivers DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant, guard Solomon Kindley and linebacker Shaq Lawson are all questionable for the Bills games.

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