Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is in the concussion protocol, putting his status for a critical Week 17 meeting against the New England Patriots in doubt.
Tagovailoa suffered the injury sometime during Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. According to head coach Mike McDaniel, it is unclear when the quarterback suffered the injury. McDaniel was made aware of Tagovailoa’s status on Monday.
On a play late in the first half, the quarterback appeared to hit the back of his head on the turf after making a throw. Tagovailoa stayed in the game, and finished the afternoon having completed 16 of 25 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown, along with three interceptions.
McDaniel met with the media on Wednesday, and confirmed that Tagovailoa suffered a concussion during the game against the Packers on Sunday. He also stated that Teddy Bridgewater would get the start against the Patriots in Week 17:
#Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel tells reporters that QB Teddy Bridgewater will start this week and that QB Tua Tagovailoa did suffer a concussion and should “worry about his health first.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 28, 2022
This is not the first time Tagovailoa has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol this season. The quarterback appeared to hit his head, and suffer a head injury, in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, but was cleared at halftime to return to the game. After the game, a win over the Bills, his injury was later described as a back injury.
But then the Dolphins played the next Thursday night, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tagovailoa suffered a head injury early in that game, and was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. Tagovailoa was placed in the protocol and missed games against the Jets and the Minnesota Vikings.
The handling of Tagovailoa’s initial injury against the Bills, along with his return to the field days later, prompted the NFLPA to call for an investigation. That investigation led to changes in how the league handles head injuries.
The Dolphins can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, with a win over the Patriots along with a loss from the New York Jets against the Seattle Seahawks.
This post will be updated.