Justin Herbert vs. Tua Tagovailoa: The showdown everyone has been longing for

Lindsey Wisniewski
·2 min read

Justin Herbert vs. Tua Tagovailoa: The showdown everyone has been longing for originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The rookie takeover continues.

The Miami Dolphins have named 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa their starting quarterback, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The move came just days after Tagovailoa made his pro debut in the Dolphins 24-0 victory over the Jets, completing two passes for nine yards in the fourth quarter.

While Ryan Fitzpatrick has certainly done his job for the Dolphins so far, Miami finally felt it was time to take a leap of faith on their QB of the future.

Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip injury and posterior wall fracture during his final season at Alabama that painted a potentially grim draft picture for the Hawaiian sensation, but Miami was in no rush to usher in their potential franchise-changing quarterback, selecting him at fifth-overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Now that Tagovailoa is ready mentally and physically, FitzMagic time has come to a close and Tua time is just beginning. The 22-year-old will step in for 37-year-old Fitzpatrick who has led Miami to a 3-3 record while completing 70.1 percent of his passes for 1,535 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

But Tagovailoa isn’t the only rookie to unseat a veteran this season. Justin Herbert, who was selected one pick behind Tagovailoa at No. 6, took over the reins as the Los Angeles Chargers signal caller in October.

The 22-year-old hot shot out of Oregon was named a surprise starter in Week 2 after veteran Tyrod Taylor suffered a punctured lung in a pre-game injection gone wrong. Herbert put up valiant efforts against many of the league’s elite, including Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, before LA officially named Herbert the permanent starting QB.

So now Herbert, Tagovailoa and No. 1 pick Joe Burrow will all be starters by Week 8.

Then, just two weeks later, all eyes will be on the highly-anticipated Tagovailoa vs. Herbert matchup on Nov. 15th. Throughout the draft process, reports suggested Miami was impressed by Herbert’s prototypical size, arm talent and mobility, and had concerns about Tua’s ability to remain injury-free in the NFL.

The Dolphins will soon find out if they made the right call on Tagovailoa. Or will they have buyer’s remorse for not taking Herbert at No. 5 when they were on the clock?