Tua Tagovailoa Remaining Dolphins Starting Quarterback
Following a dismal performance against the Denver Broncos on Sunday that saw Miami Dolphina quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggle to get the offense moving and ultimately being benched late in the game in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins are sticking with Tua as their starter.
Tua was benched with the Dolphina trailing 20-10, with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores saying that the team was in need of a spark.
“Tua wasn’t injured. We just felt like it was the best move at that point of the game. We had to get in two-minute mode, and we felt like [Fitzpatrick] gave us the best chance to win the game, and we had an opportunity at the end to tie it,” Flores said, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe.
Tagovailoa went 11-of-20 passing for 83 yards and a touchdown, but endured six times as the offense was flat for the majority of the game.
“My thoughts were whatever was going to be best for the team. When I was in, we couldn’t really get things going,” Tagovailoa said. “Coach felt like it was best to put Fitz in to give us a spark. When I heard that, it was really what’s best for the team. If we were to win with Fitz in there, the locker room would be different. Everyone would be a lot happier. It just sucks to lose.”
“It’s very clear that this is Tua’s team. Tua is going to continue to get better and grow,” said Fitzpatrick, who finished 12-of-18 passing for 117 yards and the interception. “For me, my defined role is whatever the team needs out of me. … There’s no controversy. This is his team. He’s going to lead this team and continue to lead the team. We just got to pull in the right direction and get everybody to continue to get better.”
Flores said that he isn’t worried that the benching will have a negative impact on Tagovailoa, who spoke with Fitzpatrick on the sidelines and in the locker room as well.
“He’s a confident kid,” Flores said. “He’s dealt with a lot of adversity. I think he’s fine.”
“For me, it was a great learning experience,” Tagovailoa said. “I felt like I was holding the ball a little too long. Just got to get completions and get the ball in the hands of our guys to make plays for us.”
Miami now looks to get back on track as they take on the New York Jets next week.