Tua time? Ryan Fitzpatrick realizes it’s inevitable that rookie will be taking over as Dolphins QB soon

Miami Dolphins fans are officially getting antsy, wondering when Tua Tagovailoa will replace Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. This is a development we all have been expecting for quite some time now, but when this decision will actually be made is still up in the air. Despite an impressive Week 3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Dolphins fell to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, 31-23. The 1-3 Dolphins are now in third place in the AFC East, and now that we are officially a quarter of the way through the 2020 season, this week could be the perfect time to make the change under center.

During a virtual press conference on Monday, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores wouldn’t necessarily commit to Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins’ starter when they travel to take on the San Francisco 49ers next week, since he says his staff still has to discuss the current state of the franchise.

“We’re a quarter of the way through the season now,” Flores said, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “We’re going to do an evaluation” of all positions to turn this season around.

Flores did say, however, that he assumes Fitzpatrick would retain the role of starting quarterback, according to Beasley.

In four games this season, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 994 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. The veteran signal-caller knows that his job security is a “week-to-week proposition,” and spoke about that on The Peter King Podcast recently. 

“He’s a very interesting guy.” Fitzpatrick told King about Tagovailoa, via Pro Football Talk. “He asks a lot of good questions, good football questions when we’re in the meeting room or even on the sideline during a game. You can tell that he’s very smart in that regard. Football-smart. I think he’s probably a little bit of an older soul, just in terms in some of the stuff that he’s into and some of the discussions we can have. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know him. He’s got a lively personality that makes everybody smile around the building.

“I know my job security really for me is a week-to-week proposition and I’ve got to go out there and prove it every single week. With Tua, just being able to slow down sometimes, to be able to take the extra minute to explain something — my thought process or to sit on the bench during a game and instruct and talk and answer questions — that stuff is maybe a little bit different than how it would go normally. But I know what my role is. I know that I’m keeping the seat warm for him. I know the talent that he has and I’m excited whenever he gets his opportunity. I feel like I’m going to play a big part in that.”

Tagovailoa was taken with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. While he suffered a serious hip injury just 11 months ago, the former Alabama star has apparently made a full recovery. The thing is, Flores admitted that he’s not necessarily in a rush to throw him out on the field. 

“He’s checked all the boxes from a medical standpoint,” Flores said, via Beasley. “The honest thing for me is, if it was my kid and he had a serious injury like that,” I wouldn’t want a coach to be in a rush to put him in.

Miami’s next two games are on the road and on the other side of the country, as the Dolphins take on the 49ers this Sunday and the Denver Broncos the next. Fitzpatrick isn’t too far removed from his win against the Jaguars, where he completed 90 percent of his passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another touchdown, so maybe he will keep the starting role for now. After this brief road trip, the Dolphins then return to Miami to host the Los Angeles Chargers and potentially rookie quarterback Justin Herbert in Week 7. If it’s not here in Week 5, maybe Week 7 at home is where we could see Tagovailoa take over as Miami’s new starting quarterback. 

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