Week 8 marked a changing of the guard under center for the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins turned to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for their home matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. Veteran signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started 13 games for Miami last season, started Miami?s first six games of the 2020 NFL season.
The Fins’ decision to go to Tagovailoa was a bit surprising. The Alabama product is a year removed from a major hip injury, and Fitzpatrick was playing fairly well before he was demoted. But with a very favorable draft situation set for 2021, Miami reportedly didn’t want to waste any more time to find out whether Tagovailoa truly is its franchise quarterback.
“That’s definitely a part of it,” an anonymous source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter regarding draft picks playing a factor in the Dolphins’ decision. “Whoever told you that is right.”
Miami has two picks in both the first and second rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. One of those first-rounders is courtesy of the Houston Texans, who are in line to have a top-10 selection.
Tagovailoa’s first career NFL start began on a sour note. The 22-year-old was sacked and fumbled as he tried to deliver his first pass against the Rams. Tagovailoa redeemed himself later in the first quarter with a touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. Tagovailoa ultimately led the Dolphins to a 28-17 win over the Rams.