Tua Tagovailoa's road to potential NFL greatness will begin from the sidelines.
The Miami Dolphins named Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback on Monday. The 37-year-old veteran will be backed up by Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick and second quarterback taken in April's draft.
The move was largely expected after the Dolphins re-signed Fitzpatrick in the offseason and had him working with the first unit throughout training camp.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said on Monday that the modified offseason workout calendar owing to the coronavirus pandemic didn't help Tua's odds of playing early, according to ESPN.
"This isn't groundbreaking news, but Fitz is going to be the starter," Flores said. "A year like this with no OTAs, no minicamp, modified training camp, we felt like that would be the best decision for the team. He's done a good job through the course of training camp, and he'll be out there."
Fitzpatrick, a Harvard product now in his 16th season, was recently named Dolphins co-captain for the second consecutive year. The journeyman has become something of a fan favorite in recent years, known for his unruly beard and penchant for on-field dramatics -- FitzMagic. He previously played for the St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets and Tampa Bays Buccaneers before suiting up for the Fins.
The announcement isn't an indictment of Tua's play so far, Flores said.
"He's had a good camp," Flores said. "He's been competitive. He's shown a lot of improvement. If he had to go in and play, that's how it'd be."
Tua appeared to cement his place as the Dolphins' No. 2 quarterback when they released Josh Rosen late last week. Rosen has since reportedly agreed to sign on with the Bucs' practice squad.
Tua's college career ended prematurely due to a dislocated hip, potentially costing him top-QB billing and a couple spots in the draft. The Alabama product fell to No. 5, after the Bengals made LSU QB Joe Burrow the top overall pick in the draft.
The Dolphins appeared content to bring Tua along slowly during camp, though reports suggested he was moving well and without any visible signs of discomfort.