Ryan Fitzpatrick labelled the Miami Dolphins' decision to demote him and promote Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback "heartbreaking", with the veteran questioning whether he has started his last game in the NFL.

The Dolphins have turned to Tagovailoa – the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft – to start against the Los Angeles Rams following Miami's Week 7 bye on November 1.

Tagovailoa will lead the way, despite Fitzpatrick overseeing blow-out victories against the winless New York Jets (24-0) and San Francisco 49ers (43-17) and a 3-3 record in Miami.

Though his errors did not prove critical against a dismal Jets team, Fitzpatrick was underwhelming in Week 6 as he threw for 191 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Fitzpatrick's seven interceptions are the third-most in the NFL behind Minnesota Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins (10) and Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (nine). Fitzpatrick is 18th of 33 qualifying quarterbacks in adjusted net yards per attempt with 6.62.

The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick was always seen as the placeholder for Tagovailoa but the much-travelled quarterback – who has spent time with the Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – told reporters on Wednesday: "I was shocked by it. It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just kind of digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me.

"[Head coach Brian Flores] Flo kind of said what he said and said what he said to you guys as well, and that's the decision and the direction that the organisation is going in.

"Obviously we've talked in the past, me and you guys, about how I'm the placeholder and this eventually was going to happen.

"It was just a matter of kind of when, not if. It still just ... it broke my heart yesterday. It's a tough thing for me to hear and to now have to deal with, but I'm going to do my best with it."

Fitzpatrick added: "There was a lot of stuff going through my mind yesterday, just from a personal standpoint, not necessarily with the team. Is this it? Like, was that my last game as an NFL player in terms of being the starter and going out there and playing?

"I've been a starter, I've been benched all kinds of different ways, but this one just really more so than any of them ... this organisation and what we've been through the last year and a half, this was kind of the first place other than Buffalo where I just felt fully committed and invested and felt like it was my team.

"To have that, I think that's a lot of the reason why I just ... my heart was so heavy yesterday. But that's the direction that the organisation and I've just got to accept it."

Tagovailoa threw for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in a storied career with Alabama that saw him replace Jalen Hurts for the second half of the National Championship game at the end of the 2017 season and lead them to a dramatic overtime win over Georgia.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins when they face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The Dolphins have started 1-3, with questions over when Miami will turn to rookie fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa increasing in the wake of last weekend's defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.

Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions in the 31-23 loss, with the Dolphins ending just one of their three red-zone trips with a touchdown.

In his 16th season in the NFL, Fitzpatrick is 25th in the NFL in adjusted net yards per pass attempt with an average of 5.51 yards.

However, head coach Brian Flores is not yet ready to hand the keys to the offense to Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip in his final collegiate game for Alabama last November, with that injury likely playing a role in the Dolphins' decision not to rush him into action.

In a storied career with Alabama, Tagovailoa threw for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. He also added nine touchdowns as a runner.

Ryan Fitzpatrick made history after his three touchdowns fuelled the Miami Dolphins to a 31-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dolphins quarterback Fitzpatrick became the first NFL QB to claim six wins over the same opponent with six teams following Thursday's triumph in Jacksonville.

Fitzpatrick, who also topped the Jaguars during his time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2008), Buffalo Bills (2012), Tennessee Titans (2013), Houston Texans (2014) and New York Jets (2015) starred as the Dolphins posted their first win of the season.

The 37-year-old led the Dolphins as Miami scored touchdowns on their first three drives in a fast start on the road in Week 3.

Fitzpatrick connected on his first 12 pass attempts – a career high – to guide the Dolphins to a 21-7 half-time lead behind touchdown throws to Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki.

Jordan Howard also scored to put the Dolphins in control after two quarters, following James Robinson's TD for the struggling Jaguars.

Fitzpatrick, who finished 18-of-20 for 160 yards and two TDs and seven rushes for 38 yards and a score, rushed for a touchdown to extend Miami's lead to 28-7 in the third period.

Jacksonville's Robinson rushed for another touchdown in the final quarter, but it was too late as Jason Sanders' 30-yard field goal completed the scoring for the Dolphins.

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II was 30-of-42 for 275 yards, no touchdowns and an interception, to go with four sacks after Jacksonville dropped to 1-2 for the season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has got the nod over rookie Tua Tagovailoa to be the Miami Dolphins' Week 1 starting quarterback.

Miami head coach Brian Flores confirmed that 37-year-old Fitzpatrick will be under centre against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

"In a year like this with no OTAs, limited time, this is not ground-breaking news," Flores told reporters on Monday.

"[Fitzpatrick] has done a good job throughout training camp."

Fitzpatrick is entering his 16th year in the league and was Miami's starter for 13 of their 16 games in 2019.

They went 5-8 in that time, with Fitzpatrick throwing for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while he added another four scores and 243 yards on the ground.

Having played for seven other franchises, Fitzpatrick made Miami his eighth different home in the NFL when he signed a two-year deal ahead of the 2019 season.

Miami, who entered that campaign clearly in a full-blown rebuild, were always expected to select a long-term answer at quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

And so it proved as they selected Alabama's Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick.

Tagovailoa had a fine college career with the Crimson Tide but has not played since dislocating his hip and suffering a posterior wall fracture in November.

He was fully cleared for practice when the Dolphins finally got together on the field in August.

However, with the offseason shortened by the coronavirus pandemic and no preseason games taking place this year, Flores has made the decision to sit the rookie behind Fitzpatrick to start the campaign.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is embracing a familiar role as a seasoned mentor to star recruit Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins used the fifth pick on University of Alabama QB Tagovailoa in last month's NFL Draft.

Tagovailoa arrives in Miami amid much hype and well-travelled veteran Fitzpatrick is eager to team up with the 22-year-old.

"I want to go out there and start," Fitzpatrick told reporters on Thursday in a videoconference. "I know there's a lot of forces that go into it from all different sides, so whether that happens or not, who knows?" 

Fitzpatrick still is not viewing Tagovailoa as an adversary. Though he still intends to hold on to his starting job for as long as possible, the 37-year-old is also looking to help the rookie.

It is a position Fitzpatrick has been in several times before during a nomadic 15-year-career in which he has started games for eight different teams. That experience, coupled with strong play down the stretch of last season, prompted the Dolphins to re-sign the former seventh-round pick to a two-year, $11million contract in March. 

"I've been in this situation before a little bit," said Fitzpatrick, who has tutored the likes of Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston in previous stops.

"I just try to go in every day and be myself and help them and help the club, try to make sure that they know and they're comfortable with telling me questions. But I'm also going to express my opinions and thoughts on plays that we're watching and the process of how I think through it, right or wrong, just to provide them some perspective. 

"I'm excited for him to be here," he said of Tagovailoa. "I loved watching him play in college and I think he's going to be an awesome addition to the team for a long time."

Fitzpatrick, who recorded a 95.9 passer rating to help Miami win three of their final five 2019 games, is also excited about a reunion with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, his former head coach in Buffalo and offensive coordinator during a later stint with the New York Jets. 

"Chan was really the first guy who truly believed in me and gave me my shot as a starter, and I've always just wanted to prove him right and play well for him. He's a guy that allows players to play to their strengths," Fitzpatrick said.

"He's got an offense that is not very complicated to learn but is very complicated for the defenses, the way they present it to them, and he does a great job of utilising different guys' talents and putting them in a position to succeed." 

Kyle Rudolph produced a highlight-reel moment as the Minnesota Vikings trumped the Dallas Cowboys, while the Green Bay Packers saw off the Carolina Panthers.

Rudolph scored with a one-handed catch during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Cowboys in Week 10 of the NFL season.

The Packers benefited from an Aaron Jones hat-trick as they beat the Panthers 24-16, while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins also won.

 

VIKINGS VANQUISH COWBOYS

In Prime Time and under the Arlington lights, the Vikings beat a winning team on the road for the first time in almost two years, having gone 10 games without success.

Dalvin Cook ran for 97 yards, including the decisive touchdown on fourth down, and Kirk Cousins threw for two TDs – both to Rudolph.

Cowboys star Dak Prescott had 397 yards and three touchdowns as Dallas (5-4) fell into a tie for first place with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.

 

JONES INSPIRES PACKERS IN THE SNOW

Jones scored three touchdowns as the Packers proved too strong for the Panthers on a snowy Sunday at Lambeau Field.

For the second time this season, Jones had a hat-trick of TDs – becoming the first Green Bay running back since Jim Taylor in 1962 with multi three-touchdown games in a season.

MVP candidate and Panthers star Christian McCaffrey was stopped by Preston Smith and the Packers (8-2) at the goal line as time expired.

"We all know that Christian is a very talented player, and he's been mentioned in the MVP race. So maybe it's time to start talking about Aaron Jones," said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who completed 17 of 29 passes for 233 yards, including 118 yards to Devante Adams.

Carolina's McCaffrey had 108 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Panthers, who dropped to 5-4.

 

SILENCE OF THE RAMS AS STEELERS HOLD FIRM

The Steelers extended their winning streak to four games by edging the Rams 17-12 in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh forced four turnovers, while the Rams converted just one of 14 third downs in a performance that yielded a lone touchdown.

As for the Steelers (5-4), their defence came up big to stifle the visiting Rams (5-4), who lost ground to the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers (8-0) and Seattle Seahawks (7-2) in the NFC West.

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph – who became the ninth QB since the 1970 merger to throw a touchdown in each of his first seven games – finished with 22 of 38 passes for 242 yards and a TD.

 

DOLPHINS GO BACK-TO-BACK

The Dolphins started the season with seven straight defeats, but Miami are riding some momentum after upstaging the Colts 16-12.

Miami claimed back-to-back victories by capitalising on the Colts' (5-4) turnovers – converting three turnovers into 13 points on the road in Indianapolis.

Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambled for an 11-yard touchdown run as Miami (2-7) posted their first away success since September 2018.

"We are starting to come together," said Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. "I think being able to overcome adversity is part of playing in the National Football League. We're starting to do that at a higher level now."

It was a forgettable outing for struggling Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who missed another extra point that ruined a chance for Indianapolis to kick a field goal to send the game into overtime.

Colts coach Frank Reich said: "We've been committed to [Vinatieri]. We're going to always evaluate. Everybody gets measured. Everybody is held accountable, from top to bottom. That's always the case. Nothing meant to read into that. That's the reality of the business. There's been no discussions about that between [general manager] Chris [Ballard] and I. That's just the business."

The Miami Dolphins finally won their first game of the 2019 season as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdowns in a 26-18 victory over the New York Jets.

Miami, who have traded away several of their key players in recent weeks as they look to rebuild, were 0-7 heading into a contest against their AFC East rivals, but finally claimed their first win under rookie head coach Brian Flores.

Former Jets quarterback Fitzpatrick threw for 288 passing yards and three scores, two of which were caught by wide receiver Preston Williams.

The Jets dropped to 1-7 on the season and the loss will heap more pressure on their head coach Adam Gase, who was fired by the Dolphins in December after going 23-25 across three seasons in Miami.

With Miami's victory, the 0-8 Cincinnati Bengals are the only winless team remaining in the NFL.

The Fitzmagic is officially back in Miami.

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores announced on Wednesday that Ryan Fitzpatrick will start this week against the Buffalo Bills.

The move keeps second-year quarterback Josh Rosen on the bench after he was pulled for veteran Fitzpatrick in the Week 6 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Flores had given his backing to Rosen, who replaced Fitzpatrick in Week 3, following the game against the Redskins but he now loses his place.

"We're going to start Fitz this week," Flores said. "We kind of came to that conclusion over the last couple of days.

"We feel that was the best thing for this team and it'll give us the best opportunity for this team to go up into a tough environment and try to pull out a win.

"And we do that on a weekly basis. What's the best grouping, set of players, offense, defense, kicking game to help try to win the game? We felt that was the case this week."

Rosen threw for 85 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions against Washington before Fitzpatrick replaced him at the beginning of the fourth quarter. 

The 36-year-old then completed 12 of 18 passes for 132 yards with one score and no picks as he almost led the Dolphins to a dramatic first win of the season.

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