According to Mackenzie Salmon of USA Today, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said that he and his family are thankful that the team prevented him from going back onto the field while he was going through concussion protocol for the second time last year, adding that they were “protecting me from myself.”
Four days before the Cincinnati game, Tagovailoa was smacked hard again while playing for Buffalo. He appeared to be experiencing concussion-like symptoms, but after being examined, he continued playing, which drew questions about why he was permitted to do so.
On December 26, the day after his team’s 26-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Tagovailoa entered the concussion protocol. No violations of the procedure, according to the NFL and NFLPA, occurred since “symptoms of a concussion were neither shown nor reported until the following day.”
He was unable to complete all of the concussion protocol procedures, which caused him to miss Miami’s last two regular-season contests as well as the Dolphins’ 34-31 AFC Wild Card loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Tua Tagovailoa explained to Salmon that the reason it seemed to take so long was that Miami wouldn’t let him go through the concussion procedure routinely.
Following a sack in a Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the former Alabama star’s head crashed on the ground and he first went into concussion protocol. Before making up the two weeks, he was absent.
Tagovailoa seemed to sustain a head injury against the Buffalo Bills, which occurred four days prior to the Bengals game. He recently said:
“For concussion protocol, I think the team did me the biggest service throughout that. They never allowed me to go through protocol normally until the season was done.”
“So that’s why it might have seemed like it took forever, but they were just protecting me from myself. And me and my family are very thankful to the Dolphins,” Tagovailoa told USA Today.
Tua Tagovailoa praised rookie Skylar Thompson and his teammates for their effort even though he would have preferred to assist his team during their wild-card game.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Tagovailoa will likely start for Miami again in 2023. Last season, he threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions on 64.8% of his attempts.