Tua Time in Miami began with a brief appearance on Sunday and it's not stopping there, as the Miami Dolphins named Tua Tagovailoa their starting quarterback once they return from the bye week. The Dolphins officially named Tagovailoa their starting quarterback on Wednesday morning.
Tagovailoa, Miami's first-round draft pick, takes over for Ryan Fitzpatrick -- who started the first six games of the season and led the Dolphins to a 3-3 record.
Miami, which won its last two games, currently sits one game behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East as well as one game behind the Indianapolis Colts for the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC. Tagovailoa has thrown just two passes in his career, both coming after he made his NFL debut in Sunday's blowout victory over the New York Jets. He has played just five snaps in his NFL career.
Fitzpatrick has played well for Miami. He has completed a career-high 70.1% of his passes for 1,525 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions (95.0 rating). Over the past two games, Fitzpatrick has recorded back-to-back three-touchdown performances, resulting in Dolphins' victories.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores had downplayed Tagovailoa's NFL debut in his final press conference prior to the bye week Monday, but clearly was a sign in the direction the team was headed.
"We thought it was good for him, just like any young player, to get in there and get a feel for what it's like to play in a National Football League game," Flores said. "That was really it."
Fitzpatrick was Tagovailoa's biggest fan when he entered the game Sunday, pumping the crowd up and cheering for the rookie first-round pick as he made his debut.
"I think that was super awesome," Tagovailoa said Sunday. "You have a 16-year vet like Fitz who has no animosity towards it, as well, who's just been supportive the entire time. Good drive, bad drive, he comes to the sideline and just talks through his process with why he did some things.
"I'm very fortunate to have a mentor like him who is just very encouraging on the field and then there's guys like … He's just very personable off the field, as well. I could say a lot about him but just won't have enough time."
The Dolphins' next game is Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 1.