The Miami Dolphins are 3-3 and right in the thick of the AFC East race, but on Tuesday they announced that rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be the starter moving forward.
The move came as somewhat of a shock, but none more shocking that the Dolphins current quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The 37-year-old journeyman admitted in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday that he was caught off guard by the news.
“It was a hard thing for me to hear and digest,” he said, per Palm Beach Post reporter Joe Schad. “My heart hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me.”
Fitzpatrick was putting together a pretty good season. Through six games, he had a 70.1 completion percentage and had thrown for 1,535 yards and 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
“I’ve been benched all kinds of different ways, but this was kind of the first place other than Buffalo that I’ve been fully committed and invested,” he said. “I felt like this was my team.”
Fitzpatrick actually beat out Josh Rosen for the starting job last year and went 5-8 in the 13 games he started when healthy.
The Dolphins, however, drafted Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the draft and anticipate him being the franchise quarterback of the future. He came in at the end of Sunday’s game against the Jets to take the final few snaps of the game.
“This is a forever decision,” Fitzpatrick said. “This isn’t like last year with Josh Rosen, when it was sink or swim.”
Added Fitzpatrick: “Our profession is interesting. I basically got fired yesterday and today consisted of Zoom meetings with the guy who fired me and the guy who replaced me.”
At 37, Fitzpatrick pondered what the future holds as the Dolphins head into their bye week.
“Was this it?” Fitzpatrick asked. “Was that my last game as an NFL starter?”