The Miami Dolphins have officially named rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa their starting QB following the team’s week seven bye.
Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is now in line to start in Miami’s next game on Nov. 1 at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick Benched After 3-3 Start
He replaces QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who started every game so far this season for the 3-3 Dolphins. Fitzpatrick currently has 1,535 yards through six games with a 10:7 touchdown to interception ratio.
The move comes a little of a surprise as head coach Brian Flores said just two weeks ago that Fitzpatrick was the starter no questions asked.
Sunday’s Win Was Ugly for Fitzpatrick, Miami
However, despite Miami’s shutout win on Sunday, Fitzpatrick had an abysmal game, throwing two interceptions against the winless New York Jets and not picking up a first down. Tagovailoa picked up the Dolphins’ only first down of the game in their final series with a nine-yard pass to wide receiver Jakeem Grant.
Miami also lost the time of possession battle in the game, 31:55 to 28:05. The number looks more respectable than it actually was, as the Dolphins turned to mostly run-plays in the second half to help run out the clock.
Dolphins’ Bye Week Gives Tagovailoa Two Weeks of First-Team Reps
The Dolphins can use two weeks of practice with first-team reps for Tagovailoa ahead of the matchup with the Rams. Los Angeles currently has the 11th best pass defense, but Miami faces five teams in its remaining 10 games whose pass defenses are in the bottom half of the league.
In 32 games and 2.5 seasons at the University of Alabama, Tagovailoa passed for 7,442 yards, 87 TDs and just 11 interceptions. He had a 69.3 completion percentage and averaged 10.3 yards per completion in his career.
Miami is currently in second place in the AFC East, just one game behind the Buffalo Bills. The move could be a push for the franchise to make a statement for the division title.
Tom Pelissero was the first to report the news, followed by Adam Schefter.