Dolphins bench Tua Tagovailoa during second half of loss to Broncos but not due to injury concerns

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Tua Tagovailoa endured a poor performance on Sunday against the Broncos, ultimately finding himself replaced in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick when the Dolphins came out for their second possession of the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins on one scoring drive before throwing an end zone interception that sealed Miami’s first loss in six games by a score of 20-13.

After the game, Miami coach Brian Flores said that Tagovailoa (who was sacked by Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb on his final play before being pulled) was not injured while adding that he believed Fitzpatrick gave them the best chance to win at that point in the game. Flores added that Tagovailoa will be the Dolphins’ starter when Miami travels to New York to face the winless Jets next Sunday. The Dolphins, with Fitzpatrick under center, blanked the Jets 24-0 when the teams faced each other back in Week 6. 

Tagovailoa, who is 3-1 since replacing Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback, went 11 of 20 for 83 yards that included his first-quarter touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. Miami’s offense struggled from there, however, punting on six of its next seven possessions. 

Fitzpatrick, who is 8-11 as the Dolphins’ starter over the past two years, earned two consecutive wins earlier this season before being replaced by Tagovailoa, who helped the Dolphins improve to 6-3 and take firm control of second place in the AFC East standings. The Dolphins, who fell to 6-4 following Sunday’s loss, are trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2016.