Tua Tagovailoa Will Start Week 17 for Dolphins After Getting Benched vs. Raiders

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IDecember 27, 2020

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to throw against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)
Steve Marcus/Associated Press

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores told reporters he plans to start quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Week 17 even though backup Ryan Fitzpatrick led a 26-25 comeback win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. 

Steve Wyche @wyche89

Dolphins Coach Brian Flores said Tua will start at QB week 17

Tagovailoa completed 17 of 22 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown, while Fitzpatrick went 9-of-13 with 182 yards and a touchdown—a 59-yard rocket to Myles Gaskin to help take a 23-22 lead.  

The 10-5 Dolphins, who can secure a postseason berth with a victory, visit a Buffalo Bills team that already clinched the AFC East. 

Fitzpatrick started against the Bills when the teams met in Week 2 and passed for 328 yards with two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss. Flores did not rule out using both quarterbacks again next week if the situation called for it. 

"If we need to go to a relief pitcher in the ninth, it's what we'll do," Flores said after Saturday's win. 

It's certainly an unconventional game plan for a team vying for the postseason. The NFL's unwritten rules say teams that have to decide between two quarterbacks don't have a starter. Flores will look to prove that wrong if necessary. 

"There are a lot of people in that locker room trying to win," Flores said. "I'm always going to do what's best for the team."

That'll be put to the test next week in what could be the last game of the year for the Dolphins. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.