It seems like they won’t wait that much longer and may have him play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
The Dolphins have designated QB Tua Tagovailoa for return from IR. He's eligible to play this Sunday against the Jaguars.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 12, 2021
His return could be a confidence booster for a team that has lost four straight games.
But even if he’s already in his second year, the jury is still out on whether he will be the Dolphins’ long-term solution at quarterback.
Likewise, the former Alabama quarterback will forever draw comparisons with the player drafted after him.
Herbert Has The Upper Hand
The Dolphins needed a franchise quarterback after Ryan Tannehill left for the Tennessee Titans.
However, Fitzpatrick was more of a quarterback who would give them a chance to win by managing the game.
Meanwhile, Rosen never lived up to the hype that made him the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Miami had no chance in selecting Joe Burrow because the Cincinnati Bengals took him at number one.
Therefore, their decision went down to Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
Despite injury concerns, the Dolphins took the Hawaii native with the fifth pick.
59% completion, 0-5 in his first 5 games.
62% completion, 4-1 in his first 5 games.
Why doesn’t Lawrence get the overwhelming hate Tua got as a rookie? Just curious 🤔#FinsUp
— Throwin Samoan (@EliteTua) October 12, 2021
The Los Angeles Chargers got Herbert at number six.
Tagovailoa started to play in Week 6 and showed promise during his rookie season.
He had two 300-yard passing games and finished with 1,818 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, he received much criticism for not closing out games.
Head coach Brian Flores would bring in Fitzpatrick to pull them out of fourth-quarter deficits, and the veteran quarterback often completed his mission.
The growing Fitzmagic folklore prompted Dolphins fans to call for Fitzpatrick’s return as the starter.
Sometimes when your starting QB goes down a spark of life ignites with a different voice in the huddle. Ask Fitzmagic how that goes.
— James Owens (@owensjames44) October 10, 2021
Experts also noticed that Tagovailoa hesitates to throw through tight coverages and would rather dink the ball for short gains.
Receivers had to adjust to his throws because there’s a different spin when left-handers throw the ball.
The Dolphins missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record.
In contrast, the Chargers finished at 7-9 under head coach Anthony Lynn.
But Herbert had the better season between the two.
He threw for 4,366 yards and 31 touchdowns to win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Justin Herbert: NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year 🏆
Justin Herbert: PFF's 14th highest-graded QB (80.1) pic.twitter.com/bTeMRj1Oo3
— PFF (@PFF) February 7, 2021
Herbert also had eight 300-yard games and five rushing touchdowns.
In 2021, Herbert has already led the Chargers to a 4-1 record.
Tua Still Has Time
It’s not that Tagovailoa is playing poorly.
Herbert set the bar so high, and Tua must catch up.
It would be challenging to match Herbert’s production, but Tagovailoa can do so when he returns.
The Dolphins can’t give up on him because he’s still their best option at quarterback.
— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) October 13, 2021
Jacoby Brissett filled in nicely for him, but his ceiling limits the Miami offense.
On the other hand, Tagovailoa’s development is underway.
However, he must be consistently good to end the team’s four-year playoff drought.
Miami hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino left.
They’re hoping that Tagovailoa will be the answer.