Report: Ryan Fitzpatrick Expected to Be Dolphins Starting QB over Tua Tagovailoa

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws the ball during an NFL football training camp practice in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Joel Auerbach/Associated Press

It appears Tua Tagovailoa will begin his rookie season on the bench. 

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported the Dolphins are expected to name Ryan Fitzpatrick their Week 1 starter.

"Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick school of competition," Garafolo said. "He wouldn't declare a starting quarterback in this competition this early. But the expectation is you're looking at the starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick."

Garafolo noted the decision is not based on a desire to preserve Tagovailoa's health. The Alabama product is returning from a dislocated and fractured hip that prematurely ended his collegiate career. Flores has given Tagovailoa a mixed review thus far.

"Some good, some bad," Flores said, per Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Some good throws and good decisions, some throws that aren't so good and some decisions that weren't so good."

Fitzpatrick started 13 games for the Dolphins last season, throwing for 3.529 yards and 20 interceptions against 13 interceptions. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 76.5, and he was instrumental in leading the Dolphins to five wins at the end of the season. While no one would ever confuse the 37-year-old with being a franchise quarterback, he's a capable stopgap until the team is ready to hand the keys over to Tua.

Fitzpatrick also has familiarity with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. The pair were previously together during stints with the Jets and Bills.