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Ryan Fitzpatrick likely to return to starting role for Dolphins in Thursday's preseason game vs. Jaguars

Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

TAMPA, Fla. -- The period of experimentation has apparently concluded.

The Miami Dolphins will use the third preseason game as a dress rehearsal for their Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and coach Brian Flores said that he'll likely use Ryan Fitzpatrick as his first-team quarterback this coming week as Miami prepares to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The decision reverses the course Miami embarked on this past week, putting Josh Rosen in with the first-team offense for the final joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, and starting the 2018 first-round pick in Miami's 16-14 preseason loss to Tampa Friday night.

Rosen led the Dolphins offense to two scoring drives -- two Jason Sanders field goals -- during his playing time in the first half against Tampa Bay. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 102 yards, producing a 72.0 passer rating.

But Rosen wasn't shocked at all when told Flores intends to have Fitzpatrick, who completed 3 of 9 passes for 20 yards in the three series he handled in the third quarter, return to his status as Miami's starter.

"I'm trying to keep my head down and have a microscope perspective instead of a telescope," said Rosen, who started 13 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season before being traded to Miami this offseason for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round selection. "I'm just out there trying to show my skills."

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The Dolphins want Rosen to use the preseason to recognize defenses faster, which would allow him to operate the offense at a quicker pace.

Rosen has showcased an above-average arm, and good pocket presence most of training camp and during the preseason. But he's routinely made late throws, which occasionally lead to interceptions or batted down passes.

"He had a good command of the huddle, and did a lot of good things overall. We didn't help him," Flores said, addressing Rosen's performance against the Buccaneers. "We had a lot of dropped balls that could have kept some of those drives going a little more. But overall as a team we had too many penalties too many missed tackles, and too many dropped balls."

The Dolphins have consistently praised Fitzpatrick, a 14-year veteran who has produced a 81.1 passer rating in the 141 games he's played, for the leadership and stabilizing presence he brings to the offense and the locker room.

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