The Duel

Here's When Tua Tagovailoa Will Most Likely Start for the Dolphins

Max Staley
Tua Tagovailoa should make his NFL debut in the near future.
Tua Tagovailoa should make his NFL debut in the near future. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing well enough to keep the No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa off the field. That doesn't stop reporters from asking Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores about the former Alabama standout, though.

Flores confirmed that Fitzpatrick would be at the helm once again in Week 5, leaving Dolphins fans to wonder when (or if) they'll see Tua start this year. Taking a look at the team's schedule, it doesn't seem like fans will have to wait too much longer.

Miami plays a gauntlet of elite pass-rushers in the next few weeks. Three of Miami's next four opponents are currently top-12 pass-rushing units in terms of pressure rate. The lone defense that doesn't meet that criteria is the Los Angeles Rams, who feature Aaron Donald – one of the best pass-rusher in league history.

Inserting Tua into the lineup during that stretch (Week 5-8) feels unwise, at best. Though he's reportedly back to full health, it's probably best to play it safe behind an offensive line that Pro Football Focus has graded as the seventh-worst pass-blocking unit. ESPN also gives this group the league's second-lowest pass-block win rate.

Things lighten up considerably after that, however.

Miami faces the Arizona Cardinals (No. 26 in pressure rate) on the road in Week 9 before two straight matchups with the New York Jets that surround a Week 11 bye. Tua will almost certainly make his debut in one of those three games unless Fitzmagic somehow gets this team into playoff contention.

The Week 10 home game against the Jets probably makes the most sense. But it'd be shocking if he weren't starting after the Week 11 bye. Dolphins fans should only have to wait a few more weeks to see their new franchise QB in action.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.