Jets preparing for both ‘Tua Time’ and ‘Fitz Magic’ amid rookie’s injury


The Jets might get their first real taste of “Tua Time” on Sunday, but are prepared for “Fitz Time” just in case.

Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is questionable with a thumb injury for Sunday’s game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Miami’s offense may look a little different with Tagovailoa than it did earlier this season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said his unit will be ready for either one to start.

“We have [prepared for both] this week and we have done certain things in practice that are for one guy, certain things for the other guy,” Williams said Friday. “We’ve also had our cut-ups and our teaching things. This staff is very organized on that and we knew that could be a factor. … We call it a ‘What-if report’ and we present that to our guys.”

Tagovailoa, the No. 5 pick from Alabama, replaced Fitzpatrick as the starter in Week 8 and has played well, but got benched in last week’s loss to the Broncos. In four starts, he has completed 58 of 95 passes for 593 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

“He’s athletic, he does all those great things too, but he’s very accurate,” said Williams, who added that he studied Tagovailoa plenty during the pre-draft process. “He understands the RPO [run-pass option] game very well. What they’re doing is a little bit different plan than when Fitzpatrick’s in there.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua TagovailoaGetty Images

Fitzpatrick threw for three first-half touchdowns in a 24-0 win over the Jets earlier this season, which proved to be Tagovailoa’s NFL debut as he entered late in the fourth quarter for garbage-time snaps.

Last week, the Jets fell victim to the No. 6 pick in last April’s draft as Justin Herbert threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns against their young secondary.

After the Jets failed to complete a pass to a wide receiver in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Chargers — with just Joe Flacco targeting them just twice — offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said he probably should have been more aggressive with his play-calling early.

“If I’m going to criticize myself, [it would be to] say too conservative in the first half,” Loggains said. “That was our plan to start, was once we got into the second half, we were going to attack and hopefully beat them. Beat them up a little bit in the first half running the football, being able to control the line of scrimmage a little bit more.”

Right tackle George Fant (knee/ankle) did not practice Friday and is doubtful for Sunday, as is his backup, Chuma Edoga (ankle), meaning Conor McDermott could be in line to start for the first time this season.

LB Patrick Onwuasor (hamstring) is out while LB Blake Cashman (hamstrings) and LG Alex Lewis (not injury related), who was added to the injury report Friday as a limited participant, are questionable.