Tagovailoa’s return remains unclear, even for his brother

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remained out of the Miami Dolphins game on Thursday, another sign that his latest concussion will keep him out of the game against New England this weekend. Patriots game, maybe even longer.

No one knows when he will return. Not even his brother.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa – speaking Thursday ahead of Duke’s Mayo Bowl game in Charlotte, N.C. – told The Associated Press that he has offered his opinion to his brother but is not sure what happens next.

“Everyone has an opinion,” says Taulia Tagovailoa. “My brother, I know he works hard. I know he has a family now. I want my brother to be safe, but at the same time I know he has a love and a passion for football. I think he will make the right decision. Most importantly It’s about staying safe, so that’s something he’s got to pray about. I know at the end of the day, he’s going to make the right decision.”

It’s not even clear when a decision awaits the Dolphins’ quarterback, or what it might be. He’s in the NFL concussion protocol. Teddy Bridgewater will practice this week as Miami’s starter against the Patriots.

Taulia Tagovailoa believes his brother will play again at some point. The Dolphins are in the final AFC wild-card spot with two games remaining despite falling behind 8-7 after losing four straight games.

“I just don’t think he’s going to stop playing football,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “I feel like every opportunity he’s had, he’s going to try to play. I don’t know, just ‘keep going until the wheels come off.'”

Tua Tagovailoa suffered his second known concussion of the season in a Christmas loss to Green Bay. It’s unclear exactly when Tagovailoa was injured; there was speculation that he was injured in the second quarter, and replays showed the back of his head hitting the turf with 2:40 left in the half. By then he had passed for 229 yards and a touchdown; the rest of the game, he had 81 yards and three interceptions.

Hitting him in the back of the head has become an all-too-familiar and horrific sight for Tagovailoa this season.

That happened on Sept. 25, when he left briefly in a 21-19 win over the Buffalo Bills. He missed Miami’s final three games of the first half after bumping his head, standing up and taking a few shaky steps.

The Dolphins initially announced a head injury, but he was cleared to return and later said the back injury was the bigger issue on the day.

He has not been formally diagnosed with a concussion from the September 25 incident.

Four days later, he was hit again Thursday night in Cincinnati and stretchered off the field. As he lay on the lawn, he developed what’s known as a “fencing response” in his fingers, which usually indicates a serious neurological problem. That time, he was placed in concussion protocol, as some thought should happen after being hit in a Buffalo game.

The situation at Tagovailoa triggered a quick and significant change in concussion protocols in the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The most notable addition is that balance and/or stability anomalies will be symptoms that prohibit players from returning to the game.

But if anything is out of the ordinary on Sunday, it goes unnoticed. Tagovailoa played through the game and was not diagnosed with the latest concussion until Monday.

“I’d just say there’s enough information out there that we think it’s important to get him to a doctor,” Miami quarterbacks coach Darrell Beville said Thursday, noting he didn’t notice anything during Sunday’s game. Something is wrong.

Bevell met with Tagovailoa at the Dolphins facility on Thursday. He’s working with the training staff and isn’t doing anything football-related.

Bevell doesn’t want to guess when Tagovailoa will be available to play again.

“I don’t think we can even answer that right now,” Bevell said. “I think it’s really a day-to-day transaction and then look at his reaction and see what the medical experts have to say. That’s not something I can answer.”

Currently, almost all questions remain unanswered.There was an understandable cry of concern – even from Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, One of the Dolphins’ AFC East rivals spoke on a podcast hosted by Kyle Brandt about Tagovailoa’s long-term health and the impact of multiple concussions in a relatively short period of time on the rest of his life. influences. It is well known that repeated head injuries can lead to long-term problems, including but not limited to headaches, memory loss, and even an increased risk of dementia.

Taulia Tagovailoa said he plans to spend time with his brother after the bowl game in Maryland.

“I want him to always be safe, but at the same time play the game he loves, do what he loves to do, and see him happy,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “In life, I feel like we all have to make those tough decisions, no matter what he wants to do right now. There’s still a lot of years and a lot of time because he’s young.”

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