Tua Tagovailoa might be the future for the Miami Dolphins, but Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the starting quarterback after the team announced Monday the veteran will start Week 1 against the New England Patriots, per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
Head coach Brian Flores noted the shortened offseason played a role in this decision, per Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. Tagovailoa will be the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.
While there are still high expectations for the No. 5 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft, he has room to grow after an inconsistent camp.
"Some good, some bad," Flores said in August, per Safid Deen of the Sun-Sentinel. "Some good throws and good decisions, some throws that aren't so good and some decisions that weren't so good."
"It's a learning curve," Tagovailoa admitted, per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. "Not turning the ball over. Situational awareness. Communication."
He is also recovering from hip surgery that ended his last season at Alabama after totaling 76 touchdowns and just nine interceptions over his past two years.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick continues to beat out young quarterbacks for playing time, whether that is Josh Rosen with Miami last year, Jameis Winston with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg with the New York Jets and plenty more throughout his 15-year career.
Across eight different organizations, the 37-year-old keeps finding ways to get onto the field.
Fitzpatrick was impressive when he got a chance last year, totaling 3,529 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in 15 games (13 starts). He led the team to five wins with a roster few believed in, including a shocking Week 17 victory over the Patriots that had a significant impact on playoff seeding.
In 2018, Fitzpatrick had a career-high 100.4 quarterback rating with an NFL-best 9.6 yards per attempt with the Buccaneers.
The journeyman should keep the Dolphins somewhat competitive, even if it forces fans to wait a little longer on Tagovailoa.