Tua Tagovailoa Considered Retirement After Concussions

In a recent press conference, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa gave a candid response to a question asking whether or not he had considered “walking away” after a 2022 season in which he suffered multiple concussions.

“Yeah, I think I considered it, you know, for a time,” Tagovailoa said in reply. “Having sat down with my family, having sat down with my wife and having those kinds of conversations — but really, it would be hard for me to walk away from this game with how old I am, with my son. I always dreamed of playing as long as I could to where my son knew exactly what he was watching his dad do. It’s my health, it’s my body, and I feel like this is what’s best for me and my family. I mean, I love the game of football. If I didn’t, I would’ve quit a long time ago.”

Tagovailoa suffered three concussions during the 2022 season, resulting in him missing five games, including Miami’s first playoff game since 2016. This marked the third consecutive season to start his career where he hasn’t been able to play every game because of injury. He dealt with a jammed thumb and fractured ribs in his first two seasons. The concussions this year were the first he’d had diagnosed since college, but the sheer frequency of the injury this year caused him to deliberate.

The 25-year-old had undergone several medical evaluations since his most recent concussion and had decided that he couldn’t overlook what the medical information told him. Luckily, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the doctors gave Tagovailoa good news, stating that “no medical evidence proves” that concussions are more likely eight to twelve months after suffering concussions (no matter how many).

So, Tagovailoa will return for his fourth year in the NFL, and should, at the very least, be back for a fifth, after the Dolphins picked up his fifth-year option. In 2023, he will look to build off of last year, easily his most productive season. Miami retained most of the running backs room, and even though Tagovailoa lost tight end Mike Gesicki to New England in free agency, the young passer will have Chosen Anderson and Braxton Berrios as additional weapons in 2023.

Tagovailoa is expected to return and, according to medical opinion, should not be any more likely to suffer head injuries due to his history with concussions. He’s even practiced how best to fall in order to avoid such injuries.

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