Tua Tagovailoa Not in Dolphins' Plans for Week 18 vs. Jets Because of Concussion

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 2, 2023

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel isn't expecting star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to play in Week 18 against the New York Jets.

McDaniel told reporters Monday he's planning on Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thompson leading the offense.

Tagovailoa's season has been defined, in part, by several head injuries.

In a Sept. 25 win over the Buffalo Bills, he left the contest to be evaluated after stumbling following hitting the back of his head on the turf, but an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant cleared him to return. The team later said the stumble was caused by a back injury and not a concussion. The consultant was later fired after it was reportedly discovered that "several mistakes" were made in the evaluation.

Four days later, Tagovailoa banged his head on the ground in a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, was knocked unconscious and had to be hospitalized. He was put into the concussion protocol and missed the team's next two games.

He would be placed back into the concussion protocol for the second time following a Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers. While Tagovailoa wasn't taken out of that contest, he showed concussion symptoms on the Monday following the game and was placed in the protocols after meeting with team doctors at the urging of McDaniel.

Henry McKenna @McKennAnalysis

Mike McDaniel said Sunday's game film led him to probe Tua Tagovailoa about a potential head injury: "It specifically had to do with consistencies of things that I study daily on tape, which provoked some direct questioning with a high degree of concern." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> <a href="https://t.co/JR5eF26upo">pic.twitter.com/JR5eF26upo</a>

That set the stage for Bridgewater to start in his place for a crucial Week 17 matchup with the New England Patriots.

On the field, Tagovailoa has been superb. In 13 games he's thrown for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 64.8 percent of his passes and taking 21 sacks. Miami has gone 8-5 when he plays.

The Dolphins are in fine hands with Bridgewater, however, if he gets the green light for Week 18. The veteran quarterback has thrown for 683 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. The team has lost both of his starts, though.