Undersized for an NFL quarterback, former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa has missed a reasonable amount of time due to injuries during his tenure with the Dolphins and could only suit up for Miami 13 times last season. Tagovailoa was very effective when healthy (3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions) and was one of the reasons Miami reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016, but his lack of durability was costly as the team only won one game without him.
Healthy again, Tagovailoa is heading to training camp later this month to rekindle the chemistry he developed with Tyreek Hill during the superstar wideout’s first campaign in Miami last season. Hill was a huge weapon for Miami during the first part of last season and was on pace for 2,085 yards after nine games in 2022. However, his production dropped off dramatically during the second half of the year when Tagovailoa missed the bulk of the team’s games. Hill, who averaged 8.4 catches for 122.7 yards per game in Weeks 1-9, only managed 5.4 catches for 75.8 yards per game during the final eight weeks of the regular season.
Despite that drop in production, Hill is optimistic that he will be able to top 2,000 yards this season, which would break the single-season NFL record for receiving yards, set by former Lions All-Pro Calvin Johnson in 2012, when he logged 1,964 yards.
Tyreek Hill Claims He Got Death Threats for Praising Tua Over Patrick MahomesThe Dolphins traded a haul of draft picks, including a first and a second, to the Chiefs in exchange for Hill this offseason
“I will break 2,000 yards next year, bro,” Hill said on his podcast. “All I’m gonna say is, 2,000 yards was on my bucket list to get, bro, before I leave this league. And y’all think the cheetah gonna leave without doing something he promised himself he gonna do as a kid? I got y’all baby: 2,000 yards and another Super Bowl, we getting that. Believe that.”
Hill was extremely effective overall last season with 119 catches and 1,710 receiving yards, but he was second in both statistical categories behind Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, who has also made the first 2,000-yard season in NFL history a personal goal.
For Hill, getting to 2,000 yards is largely contingent on Tagovailoa staying healthy, as the Dolphins only have Mike White (who got worse the longer he played for the Jets last season) and underwhelming second-year quarterback Skylar Thompson behind him on the depth chart. With Tagovailoa, Hill has a shot at 2,000 yards. Without him, Hill will likely finish behind Jefferson in catches and yardage for a second straight season. If past history is any indication, that is exactly what is going to happen as Tagovailoa has not made it through any of his three NFL seasons without missing time.
“Tua will now understand how to move, how to run and how to protect himself moving forward,” Hill said on his podcast. “I’m excited. I get goosebumps just thinkin’ about it sometimes, bro. It’s crazy ’cause this offense was already special last year — just imagine how special it’s gonna be this year.”
He may be right, but imagining Tagovailoa playing a full 17-game schedule is challenging at this point.