HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - First-round draft pick and former Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made his NFL debut on Sunday in the final minutes of the Miami Dolphins dominant 24-0 win over the New York Jets.
Nearly a year after the Ewa Beach native suffered a potentially career-ending hip injury at Alabama, the fifth-overall draft pick was back on the football field.
The limited fans in attendance at Hard Rock Stadium rose to their feet, with starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick waving his arms up and down to pump up the crowd even more.
“Tua” chants rang through the stadium, as the former Alabama quarterback would play the final two minutes of Sunday’s game.
Tagovailoa would finish the game with two completions on two attempts for nine yards, but it wasn’t about his playing time or his stats, it was about making his family proud.
Following the game, the former Crusader returned to the field and sat at the 15 yard line in full uniform for about 10 minutes to soak in the moment and make an important phone call.
“It was a very special moment for me because my parents weren’t here, so I couldn’t really remember where we ended our drive at, so I tried to sit close to where we ended our drive and I ended up facetiming my parents because they couldn’t be here.” Tagovailoa told reporters after the game.
“I usually talk to my parents after the game, my parents usually never miss my game, so that’s what i did, i went out there and i talked to them.”
A lot of questions arose about the health of the lefty’s hip after coming off of surgery and rehab, but Sunday night’s game proved that Tagovailoa can still make the mobile plays that made him a standout for the Crimson Tide.
Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins head into their bye next week, followed by a home game against the Los Angeles Rams.