Midway through the second quarter of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill drew one-on-one coverage and beat his man, cornerback Levi Wallace, on an in-breaking route.

It was open -- the nearest defender ahead of Hill was roughly 13 yards away by the time quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw the ball. But that ball came late, after Hill appeared to slow down slightly out of his break. He tried to speed up to catch up to Tagovailoa's pass but was only able to get a hand on it before it bounced to the ground, incomplete.

The play was an understandable miscue in Tagovailoa's first live game action in more than three weeks, and something Miami will look to shake before traveling to Detroit in Week 8 to face the Lions.

Tagovailoa started hot, completing six of his first seven passes for 68 yards and a touchdown on the Dolphins' opening drive. From there, he looked like a quarterback with some rust to shake off, finishing 21-of-35 for 261 yards and that lone touchdown -- a decent game on paper that doesn't highlight the miscommunications and four passes dropped by Steelers defenders.

"I think they made really good adjustments defensively, but there were just little misses here and there that we had offensively," Tagovailoa said. "A lot of the misses could have turned into really big plays. Just better execution, and it starts with me."

Tagovailoa spent roughly two weeks in concussion protocol after hitting his head on the ground in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. The hit left him briefly unconscious and hospitalized, although he was discharged in time to travel back to Florida with the team.

He resumed football activities on Oct. 12 and cleared concussion protocol three days later, although Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel held him out of that week's game as a precautionary measure. While there were some encouraging signs -- mainly his first-quarter performance -- Tagovailoa admitted the time away had an impact on his play.