Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got yanked from the game in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s showdown between the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.
The Dolphins were down 20-10 when Tagovailoa was benched.
Tagovailoa went 11 of 20 for 83 yards — including a touchdown pass to DeVante Parker in the first quarter. Unfortunately, the Dolphins’ offense collapsed from there and ultimately punted on six of its next seven possessions.
In Tagovailoa’s place head coach Brian Flores inserted backup quarterback and former starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick promptly led Miami on one scoring drive before throwing a pick that secured his team its first loss in six outings.
After the game, Flores confirmed that Tagovailoa was removed from the game for poor play, not injury.
“Tua wasn’t injured,” he said.
“We felt like it was the best move at that point of the game. … We had an opportunity at the end to tie it.”
At the end of the day, Flores urged all parties involved not to read too much into the move.
“We just felt like [Fitzpatrick] gave us the best chance in the 2-minute drill,” he continued.
That said, Flores expects Tagovailoa to be Miami’s starter next weekend.
“He’s a confident kid,” Flores said. “He’s fine.”
The Dolphins are currently one game back of the Buffalo Bills for first place in the AFC East. They’ll aim to close that gap next Saturday in what is likely an inevitable victory over the New York Jets.