Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa clears concussion protocol, expected to be fully ready for 2023 season

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa clears concussion protocol, expected to be fully ready for 2023 season

Tua Tagovailoa has taken an important step in his return to the field.

The Dolphins quarterback has approved the concussion protocol, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. Miami is confident that Tagovailoa will be fully ready to return to football when the time comes later in 2023, according to Rapoport.

Tagovailoa met with several medical professionals during his lengthy process, which began in the days following Miami’s Week 16 loss to Green Bay when the quarterback reported concussion-like symptoms. He remained in protocol for the final three games of the 2022 season, including the Dolphins’ Super Wild Card Weekend loss to Buffalo. Coach Mike McDaniel repeatedly stressed that Tagovailoa’s participation status was the furthest thing from his mind during this time, telling reporters “it’s critical that Tua only worry about the day he currently stands and nothing else”.

The Miami caller was ruled out of the 2023 Pro Bowl Games late last week because he remained on concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa’s 2022 season has been fraught with health issues, including two concussions suffered during the campaign. Rapoport reported on January 15 that Tagovailoa is expected to return in 2023 and that retirement is “not on the table”.

Tagovailoa has made significant progress in 2022, his first season playing under McDaniel and alongside off-season acquisition Tyreek Hill. The quarterback led an offense that proved highly explosive through the air in the first half of the season, propelling Tagovailoa to the top of the passer chart before season-ending struggles and his second concussion put a brutal end to his season.

Without Tagovailoa, the Dolphins struggled, going 1-4 in games he didn’t start while averaging more than 10 fewer points per game than they scored with the roster quarterback. Although they struggled in their playoff game with the division-rival Bills, the Dolphins ended up missing the mark, losing to Buffalo, 34-31.

With Tagovailoa now off concussion protocol, he’ll focus on football again at some point this offseason as Miami hopes to build on what he achieved in 2022.

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