Alabama Football: When will Tua get his first start for Miami?

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans will have to wait to see Tua.

Tua Tagovailoa has fully recovered from all injuries suffered with Alabama football, but the Miami Dolphins have decided to go in another direction. For their season opener this Sunday, the Dolphins will trot out Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter.

This was to be expected. Few rookie quarterbacks start in their first ever NFL game. Teams prefer to ease the new guy in after they watch from the sideline for a few games. Add in Miami’s struggling offensive line and Tua’s injury history, and this decision was practically made as soon as he was drafted.

Don’t misread this situation, though. Tua will almost certainly start at some point in this NFL season. He’s locked in the backup role, and you can’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for the entire year. With that in mind, when can fans realistically expect Tua to get his first start?

When we’ve previously looked at this, Tua’s health made it wise for Tua to sit. Now that he is fully cleared, he could start sooner than fans expected on draft night. When you look at Miami’s schedule, there are plenty of tough defenses early in the season. Starting in the second week is unlikely due to the defensive stars on the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins have to play Seattle, Denver and San Francisco in three of their next four games. You would love to start Tua in the third game against Jacksonville, but you can’t start him for one game and immediately bench him in the following weeks. Once Alabama football and Miami Dolphins fans get a glimpse of Tua, they won’t want to see him sidelined any more. No matter how bad the offensive line plays or how talented the opposing defense is, they will have to ride or die with Tua.

Miami could start Tua in Week 3, but I think that it’s more realistic to start him against the Los Angeles Chargers. They have a quality defensive line, but Tua should be able to ease himself into this game with their secondary. After this game, Miami will play some easier opponents before their bye week.

If the Dolphins don’t believe that Tua is ready by then, they could start him on November 8 against the Cardinals. He could face Arizona and the Jets before their bye week and another game against the Jets. That final Jets game will be Tua’s last chance to ease himself into the starting role.

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At the end of the day, this one decision won’t define how Tua does in the NFL. No matter when he inevitably becomes QB1, Alabama football fans will be chanting his name as they see him under center.