It is finally Tua time in Miami. The Dolphins put in Tua Tagovailoa at the end of their 24-0 blowout win over the New York Jets on Sunday, marking the first round draft pick's National Football League debut.
The last time Tagovailoa was in a game, it was with Alabama when suffered a hip injury that left him sidelined for the rest of his college career and raised questions about his readiness coming into the league. Tagovailoa's recovery was far from easy, so stepping out on the field Sunday was a momentous occasion and a representation of how far he's come in the last year.
After the game, No. 1 wanted to take some time and reflect on the playing in his first NFL game. He soaked up the moment as he sat alone in the middle of the Hard Rock Stadium field.
Tua Tagovailoa went back to the field and he’s sitting around the 15-yard-line in full uniform. It looks like he’s soaking this moment in.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 18, 2020
On November 16, 2019, Tua suffered a potentially career-ending injury. On October 18, 2020, he threw his first NFL passes. pic.twitter.com/q5OHSNQe2c
While reflecting, he FaceTimed his parents.
Here's what he said about the moment, via USA Today:
"I think it was a very special moment for me because my parents weren't here, so I couldn't really remember where we ended our drive at, so I tried to sit close to where we ended our drive at, and I ended up FaceTiming my parents because they couldn't be here. That's usually how it goes. I usually talk to my parents after the game, and my parents usually never miss my game. That's what I did, I went out there, and I talked to them. But yeah, that's what that moment was about."
While Tua missed having his parents there cheering on the accomplishment, he did get quite the reaction from team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who may have even been more excited than the rookie about the whole thing.
"There's obviously a lot of excitement around him and he's worked really hard. It was fun to see him get in there and complete a few passes," Fitzpatrick said of Tagovailoa after the game.
Tagovailoa was appreciative of the love from his fellow teammates, specifically Fitzpatrick.
"Just be out there with my teammates, being my first time, and getting the support and love from them, I think that was super awesome. You have a 16-year vet like 'Fitz' who has no animosity towards it, as well, who's just been supportive the entire time," Tagovailoa said.