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Tua Tagovailoa says he may never be same from his hip injury, calls it a process

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) fakes a hand off to wide receiver Jakeem Grant (19) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) fakes a hand off to wide receiver Jakeem Grant (19) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DAVIE, Fla. – Tua Tagovailoa is getting for his third NFL start on Sunday against the Chargers.

Tagovailoa is nearly a year removed from his hip injury at Alabama.

Tagovailoa said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be my old self, because when something dramatic like that happens, it’s just a continuous process... It’s been a journey. It’s just been a journey. Just looking back at the process, almost a year from now, making a decision if I was going to be able to play or not. I’m just blessed to be here."

The Dolphins quarterback talked about playing without the Dolphins assistant coaches. He said that this whole year has been about adjustments.

The rookie said, “Start one to start two, we were able to push the ball downfield a whole lot more, we were able to get into a groove with the pass game as well the run game... I think that’s the best thing, the best way to go about it. When you feel there’s nothing else you can improve on, then that’s not good.”

The rookie quarterback gave a game ball to his head coach Brian Flores. Tagovailoa said, “When I went up to him it was one of those, for me it was, thank you for taking a shot on me. A year ago, who would’ve known. I could’ve had a season ending injury. But, the Miami Dolphins decided to take a chance on me, that was awesome.”

Tagovailoa’s brother is the starting quarterback at Maryland. Tagovailoa said Wednesday they call each other after every game and share pointers about playing the quarterback position.

On Preston Williams' injury he said: “It’s tough losing someone like Preston, who has been a game-changer while he’s in there... It’s next man up. It’s all the guys you have seen when we played the Cardinals. That’s pretty much the guys who need to step up and there will be other guys as well. It’s a daily competition for all of us. Nothing really changes on who I’m going to target more... If that’s the open person, that’s who the ball needs to go to."

Asked about Justin Herbert, who was drafted one spot after him, Tagovailoa said, “I just think that’s just something that has to be dealt with in the media. I have no animosity towards Justin Herbert. To me, it’s not a competition between me and him. It’s about myself and what I can do help my team be successful about their defense.”


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