Tua Tagovailoa has been through the wringer this season, and while he has had an overall successful year, many ex-NFL players believe the Alabama product should sit out the rest of the season to ensure his long-term health and safety.
After the 26-20 loss against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day it was revealed that Tagovailoa entered concussion protocol. The second major head injury in two games for the young QB this season also reveals that Tagovailoa may be prone serious long-term head injury, which could result in long-term head malady such as CTE.
Tua shouldn’t play anymore this year.
Put the PERSON before the player. pic.twitter.com/j4vX2W3ZPX
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 27, 2022
The Veteran Perspective
Analysts such as Steve Young, Robert Griffin III, Booger McFarland, and Emmanuel Acho repeated these sentiments after witnessing Tua go down again.
RGIII, who had an injury-riddled career himself as a young rising quarterback, expressed his sentiment for the fact that the NFL, Miami Dolphins, and Tagovailoa himself should worry about his long-term health, as opposed to Tagovailoa as an athlete.
On ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown”, Robert Griffin III said “When we talk about these head injuries, it’s nothing to play with. You got to put the person ahead of the player. I’m more concerned about Tua and his longevity with life than I am about whether’s he’s gonna play on Sunday. He should not play for the rest of the season.”
Booger McFarland said, “Tua Tagovailoa shouldn’t play any more this season if the NFL is serious about health and safety and concussions.”
To top it off, NFL legend Steve Young also chimed in on Tagovailoa’s situation:
“The final frontier of medical science is the brain. … We as players do not understand or have any insight into how much risk is involved with our heads. We don’t know, and medical science can’t really tell us. In the end, we’re out there every day risking something we can’t assess.
What’s happening with Tua is very scary. I don’t know how the Dolphins put him back on the field this year. pic.twitter.com/oVYuGP3Yes
— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) December 27, 2022
“So Tua goes jumping back in there … I recognize how difficult this is for the NFL and how much is at stake. If we’re gonna be serious about it, we have to be able to test somebody pregame and they’re out for the game.”
Young also knows a thing or two about head injuries. He retired in 2000 due to the multiple head injuries and concussions he suffered toward the end of his career.
To Stay or Tua Go?
Former Eagle Emmanuel Acho also felt the same about Tagovailoa maybe sitting out for the rest of the season.
“You’ve gotta shut Tua down for the season,” Acho said. “Period. No conversation, no discussion, no second thoughts. You’ve got to shut him down for the season.”
“It is better to be safe than to be sorry,” Acho added. “The Dolphins have already been sorry once this year.”
All of these analysts are right, Tagovailoa should sit out for the rest of the season if he wants to have a long career, better yet, a long comfortable life. We’ve all seen the damaging effects of CTE and other serious head injuries that can result from football.
As a QB you know there are anywhere from three to seven guys coming at you to crush you, and the Dolphins’ offensive line isn’t giving him the Brady treatment (although Brady is the most sacked of all time).
The traumatic moment earlier this year was when Tagovailoa got hurt and looked to be having a seizure on the field. The doctor who helped make the Will Smith featured movie “Concussion,” Bennet Omalu, urged Tagovailoa to consider retirement because of the stuff he saw from him.
No one wants to see Tagovailoa hang it up, especially because his career is just beginning to blossom and he’s looking like the franchise QB Miami traded for. But the path to longevity for Tagovailoa should start with him calling it a season regardless of Miami’s playoff wishes.