Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned to the starting lineup in Week 7, making his NFL return just a few weeks after being taken off the field on a stretcher and missing two games with a concussion.
Facing a defense that is coached by his former head coach, Brian Flores, Tagovailoa did just enough to help Miami snap its losing streak and emerge from Sunday Night Football with a winning record. While fans, coaches and players were elated to see the 24-year-old back on the field, it seems not everyone was over the moon about him returning to football so quickly.
In an interview with Maria Taylor that aired on Football Night in America, Tagovailoa shed light on his 2022 NFL season thus far and the hits to the head he has sustained this season. When asked by Taylor about the concern of his parents, Miami’s quarterback recognized how worried his parents were after the head injury in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Yeah, that was their biggest concern prior to the injury and then things in the hospital and then after that, going through the interview process, going to see second-opinion doctors.”Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa on his parents’ concerns regarding his health
Tagovailoa did leave the hospital hours after suffering that blow to the head and he flew back with the team on Sep. 29. However, he continued to experience symptoms of a concussion in the days following the traumatic blow to his head.
- Tua Tagovailoa stats (2022): 4-1 record, 67.3% completion rate, 9-3 TD-INT, 105.9 QB rating
While the third-year quarterback received clearance to practice before Week 6 and returned to play in Week 7, he did hint in his interview with NBC Sports that his parents might not have been fully on board with the decision to come back to football, especially this soon.
Asked by Taylor whether or not his parents were OK with their son playing football again, Tagovailoa cast doubt on it with his answer.
“I don’t know”Tua Tagovailoa on whether or not his parents are ok with him returning to football
The concern from Tagovailoa’s parents is understandable. Seeing him taken off the field on a stretcher alarmed the entire NFL, resulting in rule changes and sparking debate about player safety. It was even more alarming for his family, especially after how he looked a week prior after hitting his head on the turf against the Buffalo Bills.
Ultimately, it’s not changing the way Tagovailoa plays the game. He finished Sunday with four rushing attempts, leaning forward with his head on several occasions. After nearly having his career ended in college before he even reached the NFL and having his first two NFL seasons defined by injuries, Tagovailoa’s style of play clearly isn’t changing.