Miami Dolphins' Brian Flores: Kept Tua Tagovailoa in because he was playing well

MIAMI -- After a third-down error by Jacoby Brissett, the home crowd at Hard Rock Stadium demanded to see quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Miami Dolphins didn't intend to play Tagovailoa and instead chose to seat him while Tagovailoa heals from a fractured hand on his throwing arm. The crowd was able to get its wish in the third quarter.

After Brissett left the game with a knee injury and was forced to withdraw, Tagovailoa joined the game and led Miami to a 22-10 win over Baltimore Ravens.

Brian Flores, Dolphins coach, stated that Tagovailoa was physically closer to starting than he was last Thursday, but the team was happy with Tagovailoa as their backup.

Flores stated that Tagovailoa was good enough in his series of first series on Thursday night to allow them to keep him in their game.

Flores stated that although [Brissett] was probably OK to go back in but we decided to stay with Tua." We felt that he'd made a few passes so we decided to leave him there.

Tagovailoa was 8-of-13 and gained 158 yards in just two quarters. He also added a 1-yard rush touchdown. He didn't perform without a hitch. Flores stated that Tagovailoa had difficulty gripping the ball and Flores claimed it was difficult for Tagovailoa drive the ball downfield. However, he did complete a pass from Jaylen Waddle, which traveled 34.5 yards, according NFL NextGen Stats.

Tagovailoa was also in more pain after he injured his finger while playing.

He said, "It doesn’t feel good. "I did get it a bit in the game. But we have 10 days to heal. We'll take as much time as we can."

Tagovailoa did not play in the win over Texas last week. He was also injured reserve and had missed three games prior to that after breaking his ribs in Week 2.

Flores stated that he is well aware of the challenges Tagovailoa faces and was not surprised by Thursday's performance. Flores stated that protecting Tagovailoa is his job sometimes, just 16 games into Tagovailoa’s NFL career.

Tagovailoa stated that this was how it was with my rib injury. "I wanted to play but Flo took me to Kyle [Johnston], the Dolphins' head athletic trainer] and they decided to try to protect my health. The same happened with my finger. ... I would have said I was ready but it's Flo who made that decision. It's his decision. It's up to you to support the next guy.

Before his injury, Brissett had completed 11 out of 23 passes for 156 yard.

After losing seven consecutive games, the Dolphins now have back-to-back wins. The Dolphins have 10 days to prepare for Week 11, when they host the AFC East rival New York Jets.