Ryan Fitzpatrick began the 2020 NFL season as the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. However, he probably knew that the team would replace him with Tua Tagovailoa at some point in the season.
That time came in Week 8 when Miami faced the Los Angeles Rams.
However, instead of sulking after the demotion, it turns out the veteran quarterback helped Tagovailoa in one incredibly selfless way.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I could come off of not just the bench, but I could come out of the stands in five years and come play in an NFL football game and be ready. So I didn’t really throw at all after Tua went in. I stayed mentally sharp and ready and was still running, but I did not really throw football during practice, especially during like a practice setting against the defense,” Fitzpatrick said in a recent appearance on the “ESPN Daily” podcast.
When asked by host Pablo Torre if the decision to not throw any passes during practice was wanting to prove something or a form of protest, Fitzpatrick made it clear that it was to give Tagovailoa and the team’s other rookie quarterback, Reid Sinnett.
“Well, it wasn’t a protest,” he said. “I was fully in to helping Tua, and at the same time, I wanted this young guy, who otherwise would get zero reps throughout the year to have an opportunity. Because I was in his shoes once. I sat there as a third- and fourth-string guy and just watched and watched and watched and never had any opportunity to get better. So, I saw it as a way to help Reid. I saw it as a way for me to give extra help to Tua. I also saw it as a way to prove to myself that I could come out of the stands five years from now and still play this game.”
The 38-year-old went on to play in three more games after getting benched. He even started the Dolphins’ Week 12 game against the New York Jets.
He signed with the Washington Football team this offseason.