MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins benched Josh Rosen after three quarters of offensive struggles Sunday against the Washington Redskins. They replaced him with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick at the start of the fourth quarter of a 17-16 loss to Washington.
The Dolphins were down 17-3 when the switch happened. The move appears to be a coach's decision to spark the offense, and no injury has been noted for Rosen who watched from the sidelines as Fitzpatrick took over.
Fitzpatrick, who began the season as Miami's starting quarterback, immediately led the Dolphins to their first second-half points of the season when he entered the game. Miami had been outscored 98-0 in the second half before Fitzpatrick's nine-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a Kalen Ballage rushing touchdown trimming the deficit to 17-10.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores said earlier this week that Rosen was "settled" as the team's quarterback.
"I like where Josh is. I think he's improving on a week-to-week basis," Flores said Wednesday. "I think he's a young, talented player, and I think he needs to get in there and develop and get reps and just improve. I like where Josh is, and hopefully he just continues to improve today, tomorrow and over the course of the season."
But the Dolphins' offense was stagnant throughout the first three quarters Sunday. Rosen was 15-of-25 for 86 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions, five sacks and a 32.9 QB rating.
Rosen was 1-of-7 for 12 yards and two interceptions on passes thrown more than five yards downfield, per ESPN Stats & Information.
Fitzpatrick nearly led the Dolphins to a comeback victory as he guided Miami to two fourth quarter touchdown drives, including a 11-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker with six second left in the game. Brian Flores' decided to go for a two-point conversion, and a win instead of playing for overtime. The play called for a bubble screen pass to Kenyan Drake, who dropped the pass as Washington defenders converged on him. The Dolphins couldn't complete the comeback falling to 0-5 with the 17-16 loss. Fitzpatrick finished 12-of-18 for 132 yards, one touchdown and a 106.7 quarterback rating.
Fitzpatrick started the first two games of the season before Rosen was named the team's starter before the Week 3 game vs. Dallas.
Rosen, a 2018 first-round pick, was acquired in a draft weekend trade with the Arizona Cardinals once the team selected Kyler Murray. Rosen said Wednesday he hoped to use these last 12 games as an audition to prove to Flores and Dolphins general manager Chris Grier that he could be the team's long-term quarterback answer.
Miami is expected to be active in searching for a franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft.