The Miami Dolphins have decided quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to start in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced Tuesday on Twitter.
So the transition to heralded rookie Tua Tagovailoa will have to wait at least one more week.
This update comes just one day after Dolphins coach Brian Flores said he wouldn’t be pressured into starting Tagovailoa. He noted that the QB’s past hip injury remains a factor in the decision.
Fitzpatrick’s grip on the starting job has loosened after his up-and-down play over the first four games for the Dolphins (1-3). Additional rocky performances, coupled with losses, could lead Flores to officially make the move to Tagovailoa in the weeks ahead.
Fitzpatrick, 37, has produced a 69% completion rate, six total touchdowns and five interceptions so far. He threw for 315 yards and ran for 47 more and a touchdown, along with throwing two interceptions, during Sunday’s 31-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Tagovailoa, the fifth pick in the draft, has been active for every game as the No. 2 QB but hasn’t played a snap.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said he is more to blame for the team’s red zone woes against Seattle, and he believes Fitzpatrick can still play very well for Miami.
The social media announcement is another sign that the Dolphins have been debating the starting quarterback decision and we could be getting closer to Tagovailoa taking over.
Gailey said he imagines Tagovailoa will be “wide-eyed” when he sees his first NFL action, given the lack of preseason reps. But he noted that the Dolphins will adjust the game plan to what Tagovailoa is comfortable with if he’s called into action, and “he’s going to be ready when his time comes.”
It has been nearly 11 months since Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury at Alabama, and Flores says the QB has checked all the medical boxes.
Calls for Tagovailoa to play have only gotten louder after rookie quarterbacks Joe Burrow (Bengals) and Justin Herbert (Chargers) have had early success. It’s not Tua time yet, but that time may not be too far away.