It's Tua time in Miami.
The Miami Dolphins will turn to Tua Tagovailoa as the starting quarterback when they face the Los Angeles Rams at Hard Rock Stadium in Week 8 following their bye week.
The Dolphins named Tagovailoa as their new starter, according to a tweet by ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Tagovailoa, the fifth overall selection in the 2020 draft, made his NFL debut Sunday in the final stages of the Dolphins' 24-0 victory against the New York Jets, which evened the team's record to 3-3.
Tagovailoa completed both of his pass attempts, a 2-yard pass to running back Patrick Laird and a 7-yard throw to Jakeem Grant that produced the Dolphins' only third-down conversion of the game.
It was his first game action since Nov. 16, 2019 when he sustained a hip injury that cut short his brilliant career at the University of Alabama.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said Tuesday morning, before the Shefter tweet, that even though Tagovailoa threw only two passes, he could take some positives from his appearance.
“Oh gosh, yes," Gailey said. "You go out there and you look at it, he got under duress and made an accurate throw and then he sat in the pocket on third down and made a throw for a first down. Those are positives. Those are real positives. For a guy that hadn’t played a snap, those are real positives.”
Gailey earlier had been asked whether the coaching staff had talked about an amount of playing time that would be ideal for Tagovailoa during his rookie season.
“I hadn’t really thought of it in those terms at all," Gailey said. "I think what we’re thinking about is how much can we get him to continue to improve getting the reps that he gets in practice, getting whatever snaps we can possibly get him. That’s all we’re thinking about at this point. Coach (Brian Flores) hasn’t talked to me about a percentage. He hasn’t.”
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick has started the first six games of the season for the Dolphins and has completed 138 of 197 passes (70.1 percent) for 1,535 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a passer rating of 95.0.
The completion percentage was on track to break the franchise single-season record of 67.4 set in 2008 by Chad Pennington.
Fitzpatrick is coming off back-to-back games with three touchdown passes in victories against the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.
The question about when Tagovailoa would take over as the Ostarting quarterback is when that's been asked ever since the Dolphins made him the second quarterback taken in the 2020 draft, after Joe Burrow was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals and immediately before the Los Angeles Chargers selected Justin Herbert.
Head coach Brian Flores was asked about the possibility of moving to Tagovailoa after the Dolphins dropped a 31-23 decision against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 when Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions and said Tagovailoa wasn't ready at that time and Burrow and Herbert already being in the lineup for the Bengals and Chargers had nothing to do with his decision.
"As far as (Tua) being a starter, we just don’t feel like he’s ready there just yet," Flores said. "That’s kind of where we’re at with him and other players. There are some other rookies who just aren’t ready to kind of take that step just yet, but he’s doing all the right things. Right now, we feel like ‘Fitz’ gives us the best chance to win. I would say overall ‘Fitz’ has played pretty well. He’s had some rough patches, like some other players, but we do feel like he gives us the best chance to win.”