Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did not participate in the team’s scrimmage on Saturday to mourn the death of his mother.
Fitzpatrick wanted to practice with the team on Saturday, jogging onto the Hard Rock Stadium field alongside fellow quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Rosen before the team scrimmaged for the first time during training camp.
But Fitzpatrick’s time on the field was short-lived.
Fitzpatrick and Dolphins coach Brian Flores walked together in step, both with one arm around the other in an interaction that was significantly more personal than just a day off for the veteran quarterback.
“On behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes,” Fitzpatrick said in a social media post by the team with a photo of him and his mother, Lori.
“It truly means a lot to us.”
Flores — who empathized with Fitzpatrick after losing his own mother in March 2019, shortly after being hired as the Dolphins coach — said Fitzpatrick will be allowed to miss as much time as he needs.
Flores reiterated twice during his post-scrimmage press conference that Fitzpatrick will not retire and has not decided to opt out of the season. Those were a few trains of thought when Fitzpatrick left the team for two days last week to tend to what the Dolphins deemed as a personal issue at the time.
Before the scrimmage, shortly after Fitzpatrick left the field, the Dolphins players and coaches kneeled together for a prayer.
“I told Fitz that I’m here for him. But it was something that was more so emotional for me too because I thought of my own mom,” Tagovailoa said of Fitzpatrick after scrimmaging as the first-team quarterback.
“So being given those circumstances and being told I had to go out with the first group today, it wasn’t something that I was nervous to do. But I kind of felt what Fitz was going through. I got emotional when Fitz started leaving too when we were about to pray as a team.
“That’s not something that’s easy,” Tagovailoa added. “I reached out to him letting him letting him know that he’s in my prayers and that he’s been on my mind and heart and if they need anything they can reach out to me — that I’m here.”