Brian Flores might have given the understatement of the season regarding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, one day after his 13th career start in the NFL.

“It’s been an unusual kind of year and a half for a number of reasons,” the Dolphins coach said Monday.

There was the severe hip injury in his final season at Alabama that made many question his NFL future and longevity. A rookie season warped by the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented a traditional offseason workout program and training camp. A setback to his second season, missing three games with fractured ribs. And the latest development clouding him: renewed reports of the organization’s continued interest in trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Through it all, and even with revealing that a discussion took place with Tagovailoa about the “outside noise” in the lead-up to the team’s 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Flores said he has seen a player who hasn’t been shaken by early career adversity and has continued to grow.