Tua Tagovailoa Will Remain Dolphins Starting QB After Benching vs. Broncos

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2020

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to throw against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Tua Tagovailoa was benched, but it was just a temporary move.  

As Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald noted, the rookie was benched during Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos after struggling for much of the contest.

It wasn't all his fault as the Miami Dolphins offensive line struggled to protect him. He went 11-of-20 for 83 yards and one touchdown while taking six sacks.

Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game for Tagovailoa.

Head coach Brian Flores confirmed the move was just for Sunday when he told reporters the rookie is still healthy and the starter moving forward.

Tagovailoa opened up about the experience after the game:

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz

Tua's reaction to being removed from the game: "My thoughts were whatever was going to be best for the team. When I was in, we coudn't really get things going."

Josh Tolentino @JCTSports

Tua on his struggles in Denver: "For me, it was a great learning experience. I felt like I was holding the ball way too long."

While it would be easy to view this as the potential start of a quarterback controversy in Miami, there is also something to be said for protecting the franchise signal-caller during a game in which the offensive line is struggling.

Fitzpatrick is also someone who can provide a spark, and he did just that by leading the Dolphins to a field goal on his first drive. That cut Denver's lead to 20-13.

Fitzpatrick started the season under center, but Tagovailoa had started each of the last three games and led Miami to victories over the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers.

He was particularly impressive against the Cardinals and outdueled Kyler Murray by throwing for 248 yards and two scores and running for 35 more yards.

The Alabama product has yet to throw an interception in the early portion of his career and looks the part as a franchise quarterback for the team that selected him with the No. 5 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft.

This is surely just a temporary setback and a decision that was made based on the game flow with Fitzpatrick there as a veteran who could lead the team back and deal with pressure behind the shaky offensive line.


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