It was only a matter of time that the Miami Dolphins would name rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa their starting pivot, but the timing of Tuesday’s announcement is rather odd.
The Dolphins say it’s Tua time, and the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft will make his first career start on Nov. 1 at home against the Los Angeles Rams — 351 days after he suffered a dislocated right hip and posterior wall fracture while playing for the University of Alabama.
Miami is currently on its bye week after demolishing the New York Jets 24-0 last Sunday and hammering the San Francisco 49ers 43-17 the week before.
Ryan Fitzpatrick played well in both of those games and has guided the Dolphins to a 3-3 record, one game behind the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills.
Tagovailoa played his first NFL game on Sunday, going 2-for-2 for nine yards in mop-up duty against the hapless Jets, and is quite obviously the future in Miami.
The 22-year-old is the most hyped and most talented QB prospect the Dolphins have had on their roster since Hall of Famer Dan Marino was stealing headlines in Southern Florida, and will be the 22nd quarterback to start for Miami since Marino retired in 2000.
As a Dolphins fan, my initial reaction to the news was apprehension, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense.
Tagovailoa will have two weeks to prepare for the L.A. Rams, and because the Dolphins aren’t anywhere close to being a Super Bowl contender this season, now is as good a time as any to throw him into the fire to see what he can do.
While winning is what every NFL team wants to do, starting Tua is about seeing the future in the present day.