NFL writer on Dolphins’ Week 3 win: “Sorry, Tua”

The Dolphins beat Jacksonville 31-13 on Thursday, which means Tua Tagovailoa will “have to wait a little longer” before making his NFL debut

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
September 25, 2020 - 9:57 am
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At 0-2, the Miami Dolphins were in trouble. If you want to make the playoffs in the NFL, starting 0-3 is not the best strategy. The Dolphins, quite simply, needed a win in Week 3.

And they got it Thursday, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-13. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 18-of-20 for 160 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers. He also ran for 38 yards and a score.

What does this win mean for Miami? Many things.

“Sorry, Tua,” Radio.com and Miami Herald NFL insider Armando Salguero said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You’re going to have to wait a little longer before you get on the field for the Miami Dolphins this year.”

There’s no doubt that Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in the draft, is the future at quarterback for Miami. But Fitzpatrick, 37, hasn’t given up the reins just yet.

Even though Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is asked about it all the time.

“Well, seeing as that I’ve been one of those people posing the question every week, it happens every week,” Salguero said, laughing. “But I think we all recognize that the Dolphins want to play for something greater than just developing a rookie quarterback. They have veteran guys on the team now, unlike last year, and they think that they can win. That wasn’t the case the first two weeks, but after tonight, I wouldn’t say that it’s a season-saver, but it’s a season-readjuster because they didn’t go 0-for-September. Now they have a thought that we can compete and we can be at least sort of a factor in the AFC East.”

Big picture, the Dolphins believe they are on the right path. They have four new starting offensive linemen, including a pair of rookies in right guard Solomon Kindley and left tackle – and first-round draft pick – Austin Jackson.

“Those guys are cornerstones type guys, along with Ereck Flowers, who they picked up in free agency,” Salguero said. “So they think they’ve got the offensive line more or less solved. With some more polish and some more experience, they’ll be better.”

Miami is also confident in wide receiver DeVante Parker, a first-round pick in 2015, and Mike Gesicki, a second-round pick in 2018.

“There are guys all around the roster that, really, they think they have a future with,” Salguero said. “But we won’t really know until Tua gets into games and he starts to relate to these people – or doesn’t. And then we’ll know where things are headed.”

Salguero said there is a chance that Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in the draft, might not see the field all season.

“That’s possible,” he said. “If Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps winning or playing well, the way that they measure it – and they measured it this way last year when Josh Rosen was on the roster – is who gives us the best chance to win this week? [The answer], so far, [is] Ryan Fitzpatrick. Here’s the question: If at any point it doesn’t mater whether you win or lose, does that question become moot? So far, it’s not moot. At 0-3, that’s why I’m telling you this was a big win for them in that it readjusts the narrative for the season from ‘When does Tua start?” to we know that Ryan continues to start because they’re in something, they have a chance for something. Until that changes back, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick continues.”

The Dolphins (1-2) host the Seahawks (2-0) in Week 4. Kickoff on Oct. 4 is slated for 1 p.m. ET.