Tua passes Dolphins physical, cleared to practice

Tua Tagovailoa has been cleared to fully participate in Miami Dolphins practices once they resume in August, coach Brian Flores said Wednesday.

Tagovailoa has passed his physical and he’ll be on the field, participating without limitations in a couple weeks, nearly nine months after suffering a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture in his final collegiate game for Alabama. The Dolphins will undergo testing, physicals and strength and conditioning over the next two weeks, then it will be football time beginning the second week of August.

“When we do get to practice, you’ll see him out there,” Flores said.

After an unusual offseason, it might be difficult for Tagovailoa to unseat incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick to win the starting quarterback job in Week 1, but Flores says he will get the opportunity to compete for the job.

“You always want competition in training camp. Every position is an open competition,” Flores said. “Obviously, some players are further ahead than others. We all kind of know and understand that, but, yes, we want competition. There’s no jobs that are just going to be handed out.”

Fitzpatrick said earlier this offseason that he will Tagovailoa’s “biggest cheerleader,” but he wants to start in 2020.

Tagovailoa told ESPN in April that he was 100% and he’d be ready to play to start the 2020 season. The latest update from Flores is confirmation that everything is on track.

Regardless of whether he’s the Week 1 starter, Tagovailoa was drafted to be the answer to the Dolphins’ long-standing quarterback question. Miami selected him with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft despite questions about how he would recover from his hip injury. They felt comfortable with his progress and decided to bet on his talent.

Tagovailoa hasn’t done any on-field workouts with the Dolphins, as he spent most of the offseason in Alabama rehabbing his hip. He was an active participant in the Dolphins’ virtual meetings throughout the offseason, but it’s not the same as real football action. Either way, Flores doesn’t plan to place restrictions on Tagovailoa to start practice next month.

“We’re going to ask [him] to do the same as every other player — to come in every day, having gone over the install the night before, mentally prepare to go out there and practice, physically prepare to go out there and try to improve every day,” Flores said.

“I know there’s a lot of people wanting to talk about Tua. I understand it. But at the same time, he’s a young player. This is his first NFL training camp. He’s got to take it one day at a time and not think about what’s realistic for the season. I think we have to take a one-day-at-a-time approach, which has been my message to him, and it’s not just him, it’s every player on this team.”

Original article: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29558531/tua-tagovailoa-passes-dolphins-physical-cleared-practice

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