MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It's Tua time in Miami.
The Miami Dolphins are turning the reins over to Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, according to the NFL Network.
The No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft made his NFL debut during Sunday's 24-0 shutout win against the New York Jets.
Tagovailoa entered the game with the outcome all but decided, completing two passes for nine yards.
"It was just a situation to get him in and get him some snaps," head coach Brian Flores said Tuesday. "We thought it was good for him, just like any young player, to get in there and get a feel for what it's like to play in a National Football League game. That was really it."
After the game, the former Alabama star seemed to savor the moment, returning to the field in his uniform and sitting on the 15-yard line.
Tua Tagovailoa went back to the field and he’s sitting around the 15-yard-line in full uniform. It looks like he’s soaking this moment in.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 18, 2020
On November 16, 2019, Tua suffered a potentially career-ending injury. On October 18, 2020, he threw his first NFL passes. pic.twitter.com/q5OHSNQe2c
His NFL debut came less than a year after suffering a season-ending injury in November 2019.
"You go out there and you look at it, and he got it under duress, and made an accurate throw. Then he sat in the pocket on third down and made a throw for a first down," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "Those are positives. Those are real positives. For a guy that hadn't played a snap, those are real positive."
The Dolphins will take on the Los Angeles Rams after the bye week, giving Tagovailoa more time to prepare for his first NFL start.
It also signals the end of the Ryan Fitzpatrick era. The 16-year journeyman split time as the starter last season and was listed at the top of the depth chart entering this season while the Dolphins groomed Tagovailoa to become the franchise quarterback of the future.