The Tua Tagovailoa era in Miami took another step Monday when the Dolphins‘ future franchise quarterback participated in his first padded football practice since suffering a posterior wall fracture and right hip dislocation in November.
There was a ton of anticipation on what Tagovailoa would do in the first practice open to reporters, but he was eased into action on his first day. He was seen throwing two passes — both short completions — while most of his plays were handoffs during three team drill sessions that he ran Monday.
What could be seen in 11-on-11 action and even during some of his one-on-one work was fluid mobility that was impressive given the significance of his injury.
He looked healthy — maybe the biggest question for him — and mobile as he rolled out of the pocket throwing on the run.
“He’s looked healthy in the OTAs and walk-through type practices. This will be the first one in pads. Yeah, he’s looked healthy,” coach Brian Flores said before practice. “We’re taking this one day at a time with Tua, as we are with every player, and hoping that he improves on a daily basis. Like any rookie, he needs the snaps and he needs the reps to improve and get better and give himself a chance.”
But on Day 1 of the competition with all eyes on Tagovailoa, the other Dolphins quarterbacks rose to the occasion.
Josh Rosen had the best throw of the day — an on-the-money, go-route touchdown to Grant down the left sideline — during team drills. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the veteran incumbent and favorite to start Week 1 of the season, also made a pair of highlight contested throws to DeVante Parker and Preston Williams.
The expectation is that the team will give Tagovailoa more in practices as training camp goes along.