The Miami Dolphins had a great win from their march with Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday with an ending of 8-4. With that, the team was able to maintain its position in the AFC playoff race ladders and the team’s fans are just now more looking forward to seeing their play now that Tua Tagovailoa is back on the game.
Tagovailoa’s availability for the last game of the Dolphins was questionable due to his thumb injury but he was still able to play last Sunday. His left thumb injury happened when he hit his teammate’s helmet on a follow-through as he attempted to make a pass during the team’s match on November 25. Since then, he was only able to participate in practices with a limited capacity.
During the match against the Bengals last week, the athlete appeared to have a slow start in the first half of the game with the Bengals but he seems to have been able to ramp it up in the second half.
Even if he is still limited in practice participation for the next game, he will likely be involved in all of the upcoming Dolphins’ schedule. On Wednesday, he was no longer wearing a black splint on his left hand for his injury but coach Brian Flores said that Tua is already feeling better.
Flores said, “Like everyone else, he’s got bumps and bruises he’s attained over the last few games. He’s feeling better as far as the hand. He’s preparing as best he can for a very, very strong opponent. They do a lot of things from a disguise standpoint, a front standpoint. He shed that on his hand but he’s got other issues dealing with the Chiefs.”
As Tua’s injury completely heals, he may be able to play with more ease in the coming weeks. Tua recently talked about the whole experience with the NFL. He said, “It’s a continuous learning process in the NFL. You learn day to day, week to week. There’s always something to learn because defenses aren’t going to stay the same.”
With his return, he was also able to work closely with the veteran offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey. When asked about Gailey, he said, “I’d say I’m comfortable with what I’m given, whatever plays that I’m given, I’m comfortable with them.
“Mind you, we talk about these things, me and Chan, we talk about what I like, talk about what I don’t like. I have as much input as anyone else does in our quarterback room and that’s what makes me feel comfortable to tell Chan, you know, ‘Hey, can we run this, or ‘Can we not run this?’ So, yeah, I would say I’m pretty comfortable with what I’m given.”
There are a few great reasons why Tua will feel more comfortable with being back on the game. He was not sacked last Sunday as he was able to perform solidly. He has also been using up-tempo plays that he enjoys.
He also explained how seeing the defense helps the team perform. He said, “It helps to see the defense and see what the defense is going to give us. they want to blitz or if they’re checking out of a blitz into coverage, that helps. That’s the biggest thing — indicator formations.”
Coach Flores also spoke about how Tua has been doing in the professional league. Flores said, “He’s kind of learning on the fly how to be a professional in this league, the things you’ve got to do in meetings and walkthrough and practice, to have success in games. I think he’s improving every day, getting better, and hopefully, we just continue to get better. We are about developing players.”
The coach also said how Tua is a tough and resilient athlete. He’s been accurate and continuously improving. He said that the fact that the athlete did not wear a splint or some sort of brace on this left hand to protect his thumb injury during the practice that is open to the media is a positive act.
Tua is also great inside the locker rooms as he appears to have good relations with his teammates. Raekwon Davis shared how fun Tua could be. Davis said, “Oh, he’s got this little weird dance he does. I recorded him doing it one time. It’s so funny. I don’t know where he got it from, a Hawaiian thing, I guess. He’s got some moves. But I’ve got (Jerome Baker). Bake is the best dancer on the team right now.”