Pandemic has Dolphins’ Tagovailoa-Wilson tandem on hold

Sports
Albert Wilson

FILE – In this Dec. 22, 2019 file photo Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson runs the football during the first half at an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Miami Gardens, Fla. Dolphins newcomer Tua Tagovailoa is starting to connect with his receivers. And for now, veteran receiver Albert Wilson said Wednesday, May 13, 2020 long-distance hookups with the rookie quarterback will have to do. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, file)

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MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins newcomer Tua Tagovailoa is starting to connect with his receivers.

And for now, veteran wideout Albert Wilson said, long-distance hookups with the rookie quarterback will have to do.

The night Tagovailoa was drafted last month, he pledged to begin reaching out to his new teammates by phone. He has done just that.

“He sent me a text,” Wilson said Wednesday. “He hit me up right after he got drafted, saying how excited he was to get down here and be part of the team.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Wilson and his veteran teammates haven’t had a chance to meet Tagovailoa, much less work out with him.

“It’s kind of frustrating,” Wilson said. “You want to get out there and work on things. But the whole world is on pause, and it’s not a disadvantage. You just have to wait until things get going.”

Wilson has been taking part in the Dolphins’ virtual offseason program and staying in shape with workouts in his backyard in South Florida. He also has been active with his foundation, which has undertaken a crisis relief campaign to provide foster care youngsters and caretakers with meals and job opportunities.

“For the pandemic to put everything on hold, the people the foster kids were depending on haven’t been able to help,” Wilson said. “For us to step in and provide meals is a great opportunity for us and a great thing we’re doing.”

The native of Port St. Lucie, Florida, grew up in the foster care system.

“Albert has lived it,” said Jamaal May, executive director of Wilson’s foundation. “He has felt the anxiety, the uncertainty of not knowing where your next meal is going to come from, not knowing where you’re going to be in the next year, because you’ve bounced around from foster parent to foster parent, or group home to group home. It’s authentic and it’s real.”

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