The Miami Dolphins may not have Tua Tagovailoa on the field tonight as the starter and while many fans want to defend him, injuries are a problem.
Tagovailoa spends quite a bit of time banged up and while we can say some of it is freak accidents or unavoidable, the reality is that no matter the reason, he isn’t on the field.
The injury he sustained at Alabama wasn’t his first big injury. It was only the most significant. Fast forward to today and we have to wonder if he is brittle or simply has a cloud over him.
Looking back over his college career, Tagovailoa suffered a left ankle injury in 2018 and had surgery. In November of 2018 he had a quad injury and in October of 2018 he suffered a patellar strain that caused him to miss a week. Then in March, he fractured his finger and had surgery.
On the NFL level it hasn’t been great for him either. He suffered through early growing pains and uncertainty coming off the hip injury. In his rookie year he missed time do to a thumb injury and this year has missed time due to broken ribs. Now, with one game already missed due to another broken finger, Tagovailoa looks like he may miss a 2nd game.
Fans like to compare him statistically to other QBs across the same body of work and starts in their early careers but Tagovailoa has missed significant time as well and that is a problem too. It is part of the evaluation process. Is he too fragile? Is he too prone to injury? Is it just bad luck thanks to a very bad offensive line?
All of it is relevant if we are being honest. The Dolphins need to evaluate him and after the Deshaun Watson fiasco, Tua needs to be on the field proving to them or another team that he can be a top QB in the NFL. He can’t do that on the sideline.
Hopefully, Tua will return sooner rather than later but every game missed is one less game he will gain experience and trust to run the team. You can’t grow if you don’t play. No matter the reason.