The Dolphins led by 26 points when they got the ball back with 4:09 remaining Sunday. It seemed like a perfect time for Tua Tagovailoa to make his NFL debut.
Alas, Tagovailoa remained on the bench and Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the game.
“It’s not something that I’m really thinking about,” coach Brian Flores said Monday, via Joe Schad of The Palm Beach Post.
Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall choice, started Day One for the Bengals. Justin Herbert selected sixth, a pick after the Dolphins took Tagovailoa, won the starting job after Tyrod Taylor’s punctured lung in Week Two opened the door.
Tagovailoa has yet to see the field.
“I don’t know what we really get out of that, in my opinion,” Flores said. “If he gets a couple of snaps in a game, I’m not sure. We’re running the ball the whole time. If we want to give it to him and let him hand the ball off, I guess maybe that will make some people happy, but I just don’t see any real point in that. That’s just my opinion.”
Several teams have used or have had to use backup quarterbacks this season, including Dallas and Washington on Sunday. The Cowboys lost Dak Prescott to a gruesome ankle injury, and Kyle Allen left with a arm injury.
It might take an injury to Fitzpatrick for Tagovailoa to see the field, but the Dolphins want him to remain at the ready in case of emergency.
“I think every week we see quarterbacks go down in this league,” Flores said. “It’s unfortunate. You never want to see it. I feel terrible for Dak Prescott, seeing that injury, so thoughts and prayers to him. I believe he had surgery today. He’s a great player. A lot of respect for him. You saw some guys go down. The Washington quarterback — Kyle Allen — got hit in the head, and then Alex Smith went in. So you see this go on throughout the league. Tua is our No. 2. He can go in at any moment in the game. He’ll be ready to go when his number is called.”