FILE - Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (AP Photo/Jim Rassol, File)

Tagovailoa Considered Retirement

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was the recipient of multiple concussions during the 2022 season, admitted that he considered retirement this offseason.

Tagovailoa was the focal point of controversy after he was returned to action in a game against the Bills, after the team announced he had injured his head. The following week, he was taken off the field on a backboard after hitting his head again. Later that season, he would again hit his head but remained in the game. After the game, the team announced that he would enter concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa’s Rough Season and an Offseason Conversation

Despite making the playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Dolphins did not reach the potential that many anticipated they might enter the year. Part of that may be a result of having a first-year head coach, but it could also revolve around the ever-changing health of the team’s starting quarterback. Tagovailoa battled injuries throughout much of the season, playing in just 13 of the team’s 17 regular season games. He missed the final two regular season games as well as the team’s playoff game against the Bills.

As a result of the concern about his head injuries, Tagovailoa admitted that he mulled retirement over the course of the offseason. He was diagnosed with two concussions during the course of the season, one of which landed the quarterback in the hospital.

While the NFL world shared its concern for Tua and his health after the first concussion, he eventually returned to play later that season. Now, Tagovailoa shares that it was part of the conversation to step away from the game. Dolphins general manager spoke publicly about the consultations the team had with specialists regarding Tagovailoa’s health and noted that they were not overly concerned. Tagovailoa reiterated that, which has given him the confidence to return to the field.

One large factor in his decision to continue play is his son.

“I always dreamed of playing as long as I could to where my son knew exactly what he was watching his dad do,” he said.

Jiu Jitsu Techniques

In an effort to help protect the quarterback, he has started to take jiu jitsu lessons. Tagovailoa hopes the lessons help him learn to disperse his energy and protect himself as he falls. There is an apparent concern for his health if he continues to take hits to the head.

“You’d think it’s easy,” he said on avoid head contact while falling. “There’s a lot more to it.”

Tagovailoa and the Dolphins organization hope that exploring other protection methods, such as jiu jitsu lessons, will not only help to keep Tua healthy and on the field, but also protect the quarterback from serious injury.

Tagovailoa and Dolphins Looking Up

With the return of a healthy Tagovailoa, his belief and the belief of the franchise is that there will be improvement from last year. The Dolphins lost five of their last six regular season games. Their once sizeable playoff odds slipped down to a week 17 miracle, which was granted through an 11-6 win over the Jets.

Miami’s roster had a lot of talent last season, but that has not stopped the Dolphins from looking to add during the offseason. So far, notable additions include Jalen Ramsey and Braxton Berrios, two players who should have a sizeable impact on their respective sides of the ball.

The Dolphins do have the second hardest schedule this season based off of opponent win percentage. However, entering year two of the Mike McDaniel era, there should be a lot of excitement in Miami assuming the team can stay healthy and keep the talented roster the franchise has assembled on the field.

Miami kicked off its offseason program on April 17. Mandatory minicamp takes place June 6-8, leading up to training camp later this summer.

About Matt Quartararo

Matt is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports media and is also completing a sports management certificate. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, Matt has served as a sports coordinator with WRUF. He also participates in sports broadcasting, providing play-by-play for a variety of Gators sports.

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