Tua Tagovailoa experienced another “welcome to the NFL” moment Sunday afternoon.
Tagovailoa was benched in the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins’ Week 11 game against the Denver Broncos. The rookie quarterback completed 11 of 20 passes for 83 yards with a touchdown before he was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, the starter for Miami’s first six games of the season, put the Dolphins in position to tie things up late in the fourth quarter before he threw a game-sealing interception.
Speaking with the media after the game, Tagovailoa seemingly understood Brian Flores’ decision to switch signal-callers.
“My thoughts were whatever was going to be best for the team,” Tagovailoa said, per Pro Football Talk. “When I was in, we couldn’t really get things going and Coach felt like it was the best decision to put Fitz in to give us a spark. When I heard that — it’s really what’s best for the team. If we were to win with Fitz in there, the locker room would be a lot different and everyone would be a lot happier. It just sucks to lose.”
Luckily for Tagovailoa, he’ll have a golden opportunity to restore his confidence Sunday. Flores after the game named the Alabama product the Dolphins’ Week 12 starter, and he shouldn’t encounter much trouble against the lowly New York Jets.
The loss to Denver dropped Miami to 6-4 on the season and halted its winning streak at five.