Tua Tagovailoa struggled in his first career NFL start, completing 12 passes for just 93 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Rams.
Luckily for the Dolphins, a strong defensive performance carried the team to victory. Miami downed the Los Angeles 28-17 to improve to 4-3.
“He needs reps. He’s just gotta keep working timing with these guys and keep getting reps,” Gailey said. “Those reps that he got the other day were invaluable and I think he’ll start to get better in bigger jumps as we go forward because the more he sees, the more he understands, the more feel he gets with the receivers, I think he’ll get better and better. He just needs to play. He’s got a lot of talent. I’m anxious to see what steps he’s going to take this week.”
Gailey’s answer makes perfect sense. Not only had Tagovailoa only taken five professional snaps before Sunday, but he hadn’t played in a game since Nov. 16 of 2019 because of a broken hip.
Miami named Tagovailoa as the team’s starter during their bye week, after the No. 5 overall pick made a brief appearance in Week 6’s win against the Jets. 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick had been the Dolphins starter until then.
Now, the Dolphins find themselves right in the middle of the AFC playoff race. At 4-3, Miami is ninth in the conference standing. Seven teams from the AFC will make the playoffs.
Dolphins fans are desperately hoping that Tua can help lead them back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Miami travels to Phoenix next Sunday to take on the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray. The game is at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS.