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By: Billy Riccette
The easiest path to the playoffs for the New York Jets involved the Miami Dolphins beating the New England Patriots in the early window in Week 17, followed by the Jets then winning their last two games against the Seattle Seahawks and the Dolphins.
That path just became quite a bit bumpier Monday. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel announced that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is, once again, in the concussion protocol. He went through the protocol back in September after getting rocked against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 and then again in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, causing the NFL and NFLPA to update their protocol procedures.
As a result, the Jets did not see Tagovailoa when the teams met in Week 5. Teddy Bridgewater started, but then he left due to the revised concussion protocol rules, bringing in third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson.
His status now for Sunday against the Patriots is up in the air, especially with this being his third time in the protocol this season. If he can’t go, Bridgewater would step in and try to guide the Dolphins into the playoffs.
Even if Miami loses to New England, the Jets can still clinch a playoff spot if they win their last two games and New England loses to Buffalo in Week 18. The Bills could still be playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, so they may be actually trying to win that game, which would help the Jets.
This will certainly be something to monitor for Jets fans as the team tries to end the longest postseason drought in the NFL, having not made the playoffs since the 2010 season.
Originally posted on Jets Wire