The move by Brian Flores comes days after Tagovailoa played in the closing minutes of Miami’s win over the New York Jets. He played in just five snaps and went 2-for-2 for nine yards, but it appears to have been enough to convince the Dolphins coaching staff that he can lead the team.
Miami, which currently sits at second-place in the AFC East with a 3-3 record, has a bye week, which gives Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, two weeks to prepare for his first start. He’ll be starting over Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s thrown for 1,535 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.
Tua’s first NFL start will come 351 days after he suffered a dislocated right hip and posterior wall fracture, which could have potentially been career-ending.
Why did the Dolphins wait until Week 8 to start Tua?
Anthony Yero, lead Dolphins writer: Tua was cleared to practice at the start of training camp, but it wasn’t until Week 2 when he was removed from the Miami’s injury report. The rookie quarterback has had six-weeks to learn from Fitzpatrick, who served as his mentor, and adjust to the league. According to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero, the Dolphins were impressed with his play during his first game and believe that he’ll be ready to start following the bye week.
What can we take from his performance last Sunday?
Scott Cusick, Dolphins writer: Tua looked mobile in the few minutes he played. First, he squeezed a pass between two defenders in his face for a first down on his first. His second throw was just as impressive, as he sized up well in the pocket and delivered a strike to a receiver sandwiched between two others. His showing was impressive, despite how small of a feat it was in NFL reality.
Why start the rookie quarterback over the 18-year veteran?
Yero: The former Alabama quarterback holds the record for the most touchdown passes in school history, won a national championship in 2018 and was the most efficient passer in college football history.
It was just a matter of time for Tua to get the starting nod, as he was drafted to be the Dolphins’ leader. He broke all the records and delivered nothing but perfect passes in college, now it’s time for him to do it in the NFL.