Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been officially ruled out for Sunday’s game in New England after suffering a concussion in Miami’s Christmas loss to Green Bay.
Miami coach Mike McDaniel said Friday that Tagovailoa remains under the NFL’s concussion protocol and is monitoring his health on a daily basis.
“He’s better than he was the day before,” McDaniel said. “But I’m also trying to get a team ready for this game, and putting too much emphasis on him having to focus on his health and nothing else is not doing anyone any favors.”
Teddy Bridgewater will lead Miami in Sunday’s key divisional matchup, which will be a factor in whether the Dolphins clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2016. The Dolphins can make the playoffs with a win and the New York Jets lose to Seattle, or a tie with the Jets losing, the Pittsburgh Steelers losing or a tie.
With Tagovailoa, it’s unclear when or if he’ll return to action, but many current and former players have raised concerns about his long-term health after he suffered a concussion for the second time this season.
McDaniel seemed equally concerned about his 24-year-old starting quarterback, but he chose his words carefully, offering few details about Tagovailoa’s future. He said on Friday that he had made “efforts” to silence outsiders about Tagovelloa’s health.
“I haven’t read or talked or heard anything other than working with the people I work with,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s important from an integrity standpoint that I do everything for the right reasons and not be under any influence whatever the circumstances may be.”
Tagovailoa previously knocked him out on a play in a Week 4 loss to Cincinnati, causing him to be taken off the field on a stretcher.
That was four days after he was cleared to return to the game against Buffalo after appearing disoriented after being hit. It was a disturbing scene, as Tagovailoa wobbled as he tried to get back on his feet, and the NFL later changed its concussion protocol to require that any player showing possible concussion symptoms, including lack of balance or stability, cannot Play the rest of the game. a game.
As he returns for Miami’s Week 7 game against Pittsburgh, Tagovailoa spoke about the stress of the process.
“It’s a process, that’s for sure,” Tagovailoa said in October. “Having to deal with interviews with the NFL and the NFLPA, and then having to go out and see a doctor and get an opinion…but all for the safety of the players. I’m glad I had to go through these things to learn more about concussions and their influences.”
Tagovailoa’s brother, Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he does worry about his brother’s long-term health given the amount of information about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
“That’s my brother,” he said. “I want him to be safe forever, but at the same time play the game he loves, do what he loves to do, and see him happy. In life, I feel like we all have to make those tough decisions, no matter what he wants to do right now. There are still many years and a lot of time, because he is young.”
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