While NFL fans, and Miami Dolphins fans specifically, will have to wait a week to see it, Tua Time is here. Heading into their bye week, Dolphins coach Bryan Flores announced Tuesday that first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start next week. The former Alabama quarterback will be under center in Week 8 (Nov. 1) as the Dolphins host the Los Angeles Rams.
Tagovailoa made his NFL debut last Sunday with two pass attempts late in Miami's 24-0 win over the New York Jets. That debut came nearly 11 months after a devastating leg injury in college that some feared was career-ending.
He completed both passes for nine yards after starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led Miami to a third win in four games. Fitzpatrick did throw two interceptions against the Jets and is third in the NFL with seven picks this season.
Rookie of the Year Odds
Tagovailoa will be at a disadvantage in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year race as he was on the bench for the first six games of the season. He is currently +1500 to win the award, the sixth-best odds. He ranks third among first-round quarterbacks drafted in 2020 to win the award.
The current favorite is Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (-125), who was taken sixth overall, right after Tagovailoa. Herbert has started four games for the Chargers, throwing for 1,195 yards and completing 69% of his passes. He has nine touchdowns, three interceptions and a 0-4 record.
Behind Herbert is the first overall pick, Joe Burrow (+350), the starting quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals. Burrow's odds have dropped after consecutive rough games against the Ravens and Colts. He has started since day one with 1,617 yards on a 65% completion rate with six touchdowns, four interceptions and two rushing touchdowns.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson (+700) of the Minnesota Vikings was the 22nd pick of the first round in April. In six games, he has 28 catches for 537 yards and three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Chase Claypool (+1000) of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the only non-first-round pick on this list. A second-round selection, he has 17 catches for 335 yards and six total touchdowns in five games this season.
The final pick of the first round, Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+1000), is the last player ahead of Tagovailoa on the betting list. In six games, he has 505 yards rushing, 177 receiving yards and one touchdown for the defending Super Bowl champs.
Tagovailoa burst onto the college football season in 2017 as a true freshman for Alabama. He played during the regular season as a backup to Jalen Hurts, mostly getting in during blowouts.
In the national championship game, Hurts was benched, and Tagovailoa led a comeback against Georgia, including the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.
He made his first college start in the 2018 opener and threw for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns on the season with just six interceptions. Tagovailoa finished second to Oklahoma's Kyler Murray in Heisman voting but won the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards. Alabama eventually lost the national championship game to Clemson.
Tagovailoa's junior season at Alabama was plagued with injuries, including an ankle sprain against Tennessee that required surgery. He returned for Alabama's loss to LSU but was injured again against Mississippi State. That final injury included a dislocated hip, a broken nose and a concussion that ended his season and college career.