MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins crowd rose to its toes making extra noise than it had at any level throughout a 24-0 victory over the New York Jets as rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa jogged onto the sphere for his first NFL motion.
Ryan Fitzpatrick waved his arms up and down in hopes of pumping up the gang even louder. Different teammates clapped and hugged the sideline in anticipation.
Almost a yr since Tagovailoa suffered a scary doubtlessly career-ending hip damage at Alabama on Nov. 16, 2019, it was Tua Time.
Within the remaining minutes of the sport, Dolphins coach Brian Flores instructed Tagovailoa to heat up and with a bit over two minutes left, Tagovailoa entered the sport, throwing his first two NFL passes, each completions.
Chants of “Tua” rang out as he ran onto the sphere.
“I do know there was some pleasure when he went in. I am joyful for Tua,” Flores mentioned.
Fitzpatrick added: “That was only a cool second for him, simply the reception from the gang that was right here and us on the sideline.”
“Yeah, I undoubtedly might hear it. There’s nothing else enjoying within the stadium, so I might hear that,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “And that was superior. However to simply be on the market with my teammates being my first time and getting the help and love from them, I believe that was tremendous superior. After which you may have a 16-year vet like Fitz, who has animosity towards it as effectively, who’s simply been supportive that complete time. Good drive, dangerous drive, he involves the sideline and simply talks by means of his course of with why he did some issues. I am very lucky to have a mentor like him who’s simply very encouraging on the sphere after which this man is like he is simply very personable off the sphere as effectively.”
After the sport, Tagovailoa returned to the sphere, sitting down on the center of the 15-yard-line alone in full uniform for about 10 minutes soaking within the second.
Tua Tagovailoa went again to the sphere and he is sitting across the 15-yard-line in full uniform. It seems like he is soaking this second in.
On November 16, 2019, Tua suffered a doubtlessly career-ending damage. On October 18, 2020, he threw his first NFL passes. pic.twitter.com/q5OHSNQe2c
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 18, 2020
He tried to seek out the spot the place his Dolphins drive ended after which FaceTimed his mother and father, who could not be there to see him play. They watch virtually each recreation and he needed to share the second with him. He mentioned the dialog was emotional significantly due to all the pieces it took for him to get again on that discipline.
“The largest factor that basically stands out to me is simply having the ability to make my mother and father proud,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “Whether or not that is Tua as a soccer participant, Tua as an individual, Tua as a son, I believe that is what brings me essentially the most pleasure is seeing how joyful my mother and father get after which seeing how joyful my household will get as effectively with who I’m and in addition what I do.”
On Tagovailoa’s first go got here on a unadorned bootleg in his personal finish zone, he throw a brief go over two Jets defenders to operating again Patrick Laird for a 2-yard completion. His second go was additionally spectacular, a 7-yard completion to receiver Jakeem Grant for the group’s solely third-down conversion of the sport.
“The bare in your individual finish zone is not the simplest of performs and he went in and accomplished that one after which accomplished the third-down so I believe that was a cool second for him,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “Simply the reception, too, of the followers that have been right here. And everyone on the sideline. We’re all excited to him get on the market.”
Tagovailoa declared himself wholesome, and he proved he might make the cell performs that made him particular at Alabama.
“It was only a glimpse of what is going on to be to come back,” mentioned Dolphins defensive sort out Christian Wilkins, who gave Tagovailoa a bear hug after the sport.