Coming off of the Miami Dolphins bye the weekend, Tua Tagovailoa will be the team's starting quarterback moving forward. The franchise made that decision this week, a somewhat surprising one considering Ryan Fitzpatrick's high level of play in recent games.
Tagovailoa was the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, after an impressive career at Alabama. The hip injury he suffered late last season called his future prospects into question a bit, but by all accounts he's fully recovered, and doctors don't have major concerns about it impacting him moving forward.
The young quarterback got his first NFL playing time last Sunday, filling in for Fitzpatrick late during a blowout win over the New York Jets. He completed both of his passes for a total of nine yards. His first start, which is set to come against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams, will be a much more difficult test for him.
Paul Finebaum appeared on a Tuesday edition of SportsCenter to discuss the Dolphins' decision. Finebaum says his immediate reaction was to think back to the moment when Tua was hurt last year, and all that he's fought through to get to this point.
"I can't help but think back to Nov. 16 last year... remember that injury," Finebaum said, per 247Sports, when asked about Tua Tagovailoa being named Dolphins starter. "And at that moment, you had to think it could be over for him. And the remarkable comeback, the resilience by Tua, the support that he had from his incredible family, I think, has really been one of the most positive sports stories of the year that we've seen so much heartbreak. And that is going to be special for all sports fans because of what he's overcome. And he always did it with a smile on his face. Even as he was being carried off the field with blood and everyone in total shock, he raised his hand and said he would be back, and look at him now."
Finebaum went on to call Tua the greatest quarterback in Alabama history, ahead of guys like Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. He also addressed the serendipity of him being taken by the Dolphins, and all of the comparisons that have been made to Drew Brees. Finebaum said that if his Alabama head coach Nick Saban had been allowed to sign Brees, coming off of an injury, as Dolphins head coach, he may still be in the NFL, and Tua may not have gone to Alabama at all, and would likely be elsewhere in the NFL. There are a ton of interesting coincidences and parallels to make there.
The Miami Dolphins and L.A. Rams kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 1.