Tua Tagovailoa suffered from two separate concussions this season, the first of which sent him in the hospital.
It was initially thought that the Miami Dolphins quarterback suffered a concussion in Week 3 of the season, but the team (and after investigation, the NFL and NFLPA) confirmed that it was a back injury. However, on short rest, the concussion he did suffer caused his hands to crawl up, and he was stretchered off the field. He didn’t return until Week 7.
Tagovailoa then suffered his second concussion on Christmas Day against the Green Bay Packers, and even remained in the game. He missed the rest of the season and was not cleared from protocol until earlier this month.
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Many medical experts have urged Tagovailoa to contemplate retiring to care for his long-term health, but it doesn’t seem like that’s a thought.
In fact, the 24-year-old took time earlier this week to thank the Dolphins for protecting him.
“For concussion protocol, I think the team did me the biggest service throughout that . . . ” he told USA Today at Super Bowl LVII Radio Row.
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“(Miami) never allowed me to go through protocol normally until the season was done. They were protecting me from myself. Me and my family are very thankful for the Dolphins.”
Tagovailoa added that getting out of concussion protocol the second time “took forever,” but he had a plan to avoid further injuries.
“We’ve got a plan set up, and I’ll be doing judo on Fridays so that I can figure out like . . . understanding my body and how to fall,” Tagovailoa told “Up and Adams” on Friday. “Just trying to help myself.”
Last month, Tagovailoa’s family put to bed any potential retirement rumors.
“He’ll come back,” Galu Tagovailoa, his father, told KHON 2 at the Polynesian Bowl. “That’s their guy. They love him, we love them and what they’re doing and how they’re helping him with his recovery and everything else trying to get him back.”
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The Dolphins were the seventh seed in the AFC and made the playoffs, but lost to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round with third stringer Skylar Thompson under center.