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Tua Tagovailoa Sends Clear Message Before Rookie NFL Season

A closeup of Tua Tagovailoa crouching on the football field.

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warming up prior to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

When Tua Tagovailoa was taken No. 5 overall by the Miami Dolphins, it was very unclear when we'd actually see the former Alabama star suit up in the NFL.

If Tua has his way, he'll probably want to play right away. He says that he is 100-percent back from the hip injury that derailed his final Alabama season and, for a bit, looked like it might threaten his career. The Dolphins are expected to be understandably cautious with their new franchise quarterback though.

The team still has veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the roster, who helped guide the team to a much more competitive season than most expected in 2019. He could be handed the keys one more time, to make sure that there are no lingering concerns with Tua Tagovailoa's hip. He acknowledged that he might have to sit in a new interview with the The Palm Beach Post, though he says he's ready to play.

“I think the way I stay myself is, I just go out there and do whatever I can to help the team,” Tagovailoa told Joe Schad. “If helping the team looks like me being on the sideline and telling (Ryan Fitzpatrick) what I’ve seen, then that’s what it is. Or whoever the quarterback is out there.”

“I’d say I’m ready to go,” he added. “It’s kind of those things where you start getting the itch to get back out on the field, to be able to compete. It’s going to be a new setting, so that’s what’s even more exciting.”

Tua Tagovailoa had a ton of praise for Fitzpatrick, who he joked could be his father in the interview. If there's any veteran quarterback equipped for this situation, it is probably Fitzpatrick, who has been in this role so many times before.

Ultimately, the franchise won't really turn the page until Tua is on the field. Hopefully, whenever that moment comes, he is totally ready, and we get to see the same explosive player that dominated for the Crimson Tide.

[The Palm Beach Post]