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Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa Didn't Trigger Concussion Protocol, per Investigation

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins warms up during pregame against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A joint investigation by the NFL and NFL Players Association determined that Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not show any signs that would have triggered the league's concussion protocol in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers.

According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on the matter, saying: "The review established that symptoms of a concussion were neither exhibited nor reported until the following day."

Tagovailoa is in the concussion protocol for the second time this season, and he will not play in the Dolphins' key AFC East clash with the New England Patriots on Sunday.

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said this week that Tagovailoa didn't display any signs of a concussion and reported no symptoms during the game, which is why he was never pulled off the field and checked for a head injury, per NFL.com.

According to ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Tagovailoa was placed in the concussion protocol Monday after telling team doctors he was experiencing symptoms.

Tua's previous stint in the protocol this season occurred after he was knocked out of the team's Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Tagovailoa's head hit the ground, causing his hands and fingers to seize in a fencing response. He was evaluated at a local hospital and later released.

Tagovailoa missed the Dolphins' next two games, both of which were losses.

Four days before the Cincinnati game, Tagovailoa's head hit the ground following a late hit during a game against the Buffalo Bills, and he stumbled when trying to get to his feet. Tagovailoa missed only a few plays and returned to the game after halftime, leading Miami to a win.

That led the NFL to change its concussion protocol, as it now requires any player who shows symptoms to be evaluated and miss the rest of the game, per Louis-Jacques.

The Dolphins were once considered one of the NFL's top teams this season because of Tagovailoa's rapport with wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but they have dropped four games in a row and are clinging to the AFC's last playoff spot with an 8-7 record.

Miami had every opportunity to beat Green Bay, but Tagovailoa threw interceptions on each of the Dolphins' final three possessions in the 26-20 loss.

A loss to the Patriots would leave them tied with their division rivals at 8-8, and the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers are lurking at 7-8 as well.

Miami will need solid play from veteran backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against New England, and it is possible Bridgewater could be the starter in Week 18 against the Jets as well.