This week brings some bittersweet news in the Miami Dolphins quarterback room. Tua Tagovailoa, the team's 2020 first-round pick, will take over as starting quarterback after this weekend's bye, displacing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
It isn't surprising that the team would make this move at some point. Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick, is clearly viewed as the team's future at the position.
The fact that it is happening this early in the year is a bit of a surprise, though. Tua is less than a year from a major hip injury that threatened to jeopardize his career. Fitzpatrick has also played very good football, and Miami looks like it could hang around the playoff race with him at quarterback.
The two quarterbacks built a tight bond during the offseason. When asked about becoming the starter, Tua said he is excited, but does feel bad for Fitzpatrick, who he says is something like a father-figure on the team. Fitzpatrick says he was caught off guard by the decision.
"I was very excited. That's news that anyone would love to hear. Being named the starter at any position," Tua Tagovailoa said. "At the same time, I felt for Fitz as well. Me and Fitz had a conversation about all of this. Like I've continued to say, although it kind of hurts me in a way to see Fitz hurt, I'm just very, very lucky to have someone like Fitz in my corner regardless of the situation that we're in right now. I hate to say it like this, but it is like this. It's like a father and son thing."
Head coach Brian Flores admitted that he wishes that he was able to tell the team about the move, before the news broke. He reportedly planned to apologize to the team about how things got out.
Fitzpatrick says that he will continue to help Tua in any way that he can.
Tagovailoa got his first game action on Sunday against the New York Jets, going 2-for-2 for nine yards. He'll make his first start on Sunday, Nov. 1 against the Los Angeles Rams. The Miami Dolphins are 3-3, one game back of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.
Tua says he's excited, but also feels badly for Fitz.
Laughs about his relationship with Fitzpatrick "I hate to say it, but it's kinda like a father and son thing." pic.twitter.com/buPueg579M
— Clay Ferraro (@ClayWPLG) October 21, 2020