Tua Tagovailoa celebrated NFL debut by FaceTiming with parents


Tua Tagovailoa finally saw NFL game action on Sunday, and he made sure to share the milestone with his family.

Shortly after the former Alabama quarterback made his NFL debut for the Miami Dolphins late in their 24-0 victory over the winless Jets, Tagovailoa sat at the 15-yard line at Hard Rock Stadium and FaceTimed his parents, Diane and Galu.

“The biggest thing that really stands out to me is just being able to make my parents proud,” Tagovailoa said after the game. “Whether that’s Tua as a football player, Tua as a person, Tua as a son, I think that’s what brings me the most joy is seeing how happy my parents get and then seeing how happy my family gets, as well, with who I am and also what I do.”

Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick with the game in hand with 2:27 remaining. It was more than 11 months after the lefty quarterback had suffered a season-ending hip injury for the Crimson Tide last November.

Fitzpatrick even pumped both arms above his head to encourage the home crowd to cheer louder, and fans chanted “Tua” as he entered the game. The 22-year-old Tagovailoa completed both of his pass attempts for nine yards before running out the clock.

“That was just a cool moment for him, just the reception from the crowd that was here and from us on the sideline,” Fitzpatrick said.

“I definitely could hear it. There’s nothing else playing in the stadium, so I could hear that. And that was awesome,” Tagovailoa added. “But to just be out there with my teammates, being my first time, and getting the support and love from them, I think that was super awesome.

“And then you have a 16-year vet like Fitz, who has no animosity toward it, as well, who’s just been supportive the entire time. Good drive, bad drive, he comes to the sideline and just talks through his process with why he did some things. I’m very fortunate to have a mentor like him who is just very encouraging on the field and then this guy is, like, he’s just very personable off the field, as well.”

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