The Duel

Here's When Tua Tagovailoa Will Make His First Start

Max Staley
Tua Tagovailoa will start the season on the bench for the Miami Dolphins.
Tua Tagovailoa will start the season on the bench for the Miami Dolphins. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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The Miami Dolphins confirmed that Ryan Fitzpatrick will open the season as the team's starting quarterback. This development is certainly an expected one, but it's a blow to fans who were holding out hope that rookie Tua Tagovailoa would be at the helm in Week 1.

Unfortunately, it could be a while before Dolphins fans see the 2020 first-round pick in action. Looking at Miami's schedule, Tua might not set foot on the field until early November.

Miami is obviously going to be playing it safe with Tua given the devastating hip injury he suffered last year. That's compounded by the fact that the Dolphins had the league's worst pass-blocking offensive line in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.

Five of Miami's first eight scheduled opponents finished in the top nine in sack percentage last season. Two of the three teams that didn't reach that mark, the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos, still boast elite pass-rushers like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

The Dolphins don't want their prized rookie QB facing a gauntlet of elite pass-rushing units behind the league's worst offensive line, all while he recovers from a career-threatening injury.

Thankfully, things lighten up significantly following those first eight games. Miami will likely give Tua his first start either on the road in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals, or at home in Week 10 against the New York Jets.

He's probably going to see some action before the Week 11 bye, but fans shouldn't expect to see him make more than one or two starts before then.


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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.

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