Tua Tagovailoa's Hip Injury Recovery 'Definitely Part' of Dolphins' QB Decision

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 1, 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

The Miami Dolphins are going to take every precaution with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa before putting him into games.

Head coach Brian Flores told reporters Tuesday that Tagovailoa's recovery from hip surgery last November is "definitely part of the conversation" in regard to when the rookie might play. 

"We're at 10 months," Flores said. "It was a pretty serious injury. He looks good, though. ... He's healthy. He's moving around to his right and to his left. But yes, that's part of the conversation."

Even though Flores has yet to officially name a starter for Week 1, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported in July there is a "great likelihood" that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center against the New England Patriots on Sept. 13 at Gillette Stadium. 

Fitzpatrick's status was unknown after he left camp Saturday because of the death of his mother, Lori, but Flores told reporters the 37-year-old returned to the team Monday and was expected to practice.

Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip and fractured posterior wall during Alabama's win over Mississippi State on Nov. 16. 

The Dolphins selected Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. The 22-year-old passed his physical and was cleared to fully practice when training camp opened in July. 

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Fitzpatrick is a good veteran mentor who is capable of holding things down until a younger player is ready. He went 5-8 with 3,529 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in 15 games last year. 

Tagovailoa began his college career as a backup at Alabama before being called upon in the College Football Playoff Championship against Georgia and leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory. He may have to wait to get his opportunity in the NFL, but the Dolphins have a lot invested in him to make sure he becomes their franchise quarterback.