The rookie quarterback made his NFL debut late in the fourth quarter with Miami up 24-0, completing a pair of passes for nine yards in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Tagovailoa was able to enjoy the moment following the game.
“I think it was a very special moment for me because my parents weren’t here,” Tagovailoa told reporters, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “I couldn’t remember where we ended our drive at, so I FaceTimed my parents from where we ended our drive at.”
The lefty hadn’t played in a game since injuring his hip at Alabama last season. Tagovailoa said he spoke to his parents alone on the field about his football journey.
“The biggest thing that stands out to me is to make my parents proud,” he said, per Salguero. “That’s what brings me the most joy in who I am and what I do.”
The Dolphins selected Tagovailoa fifth overall in April’s draft. He was met with cheers from teammates and fans at Hard Rock Stadium when he entered the game.
“I definitely could hear (the support),” Tagovailoa said, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. “There’s nothing else playing in the stadium, so I could hear that. And that was awesome. 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.”