The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall choice, obviously believing in his surgically repaired hip and in his future. But what that means for this season remains to be seen.
With Tagovailoa getting no on-field work with the team this offseason, coach Brian Flores concedes he will have to see the quarterback in a few practices before determining what Tagovailoa can do. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to begin the season as Miami’s starting quarterback.
Team doctors examined Tagovailoa before the NFL shutdown team facilities in March.
“Yes, he was examined, but again, ‘examined’ and then doing a two-hour practice and playing in a game — there’s a process to all those things,” Flores told Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post on Tuesday. “So, as far as whether or not he can or can’t do something, it would be hard to say.”
Tagovailoa underwent hip surgery Nov. 18 in Houston after injuring it in a game. The former Alabama quarterback was fully cleared to compete without restrictions before the draft, his surgeon wrote to all NFL teams.
The Dolphins, though, have not yet had a chance to see him on their practice field.
“My hopes don’t get high or low until I see a guy in a huddle,” Flores said. “Until I see a guy make it through practice — multiple practices — it’s hard to say we’re doing to do this, that or the other thing at game speed. That’s for anyone.”