With Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa in concussion protocol for the second time this season, opinions on the quarterback’s next steps are flooding social media and the internet.
Dr. Chris Nowinski tweeted that it was time for the organization to do the right thing for the QB and sit him out for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, a former NFL star running back goes one step further. Speaking on FS1’s ‘Speak’, LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy said Tagovailoa should consider retiring from football.
A day after Miami’s 26-20 loss to Green Bay, the Dolphins announced that Tagovailoa was in concussion protocol.
Reviewing video of the match, Dr. Nowinski – a former Harvard football player turned WWE star turned doctor – said he believed the blow that landed Tagovailoa in concussion protocol was was produced in the second quarter. Nowinski noted that Tagovailoa threw three interceptions after the play in question.
If it was play that caused Tagovailoa’s concussion symptoms, it’s been twice this season that he has continued to play in games after sustaining blows to the head. He temporarily left a Week 3 game against Buffalo with what the team initially called a head injury after struggling to maintain his balance stepping down the field. The team later said it was a back injury.
Four days later, Tagovailoa suffered a concussion against Cincinnati, forcing him to miss two games. On the Thursday afternoon before the match, Nowinski tweeted:
The day after Miami’s Christmas game against the Packers, Miami head coach Mike McDaniel said he didn’t know about Tagovailoa’s condition until well after the game. The team and the NFL botched the situation, especially given Tagovailoa’s history this season with head injuries.
On Wednesday, McDaniel said the team will play replacement QB Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday and medical professionals have sounded the alarm about how seriously the organization must take Tagovailoa’s health.
As McCoy noted, it’s a complicated conversation.
Tagovailoa was the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and has hit his stride this season. The franchise has built a strong roster around him. If he retired, the decision would reverberate for years. Watch the Indianapolis Colts since Andrew Luck’s early retirement to see what this type of decision can do to a franchise.
But the long-term health of Tagovailoa is far more important than the dolphins who are having a few lean years.
No one questions Tagovailoa’s commitment to football, but there comes a time when athletes have to make tough decisions about their health. Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has retired at age 28 after a history of concussions.
“It makes me sad because I love playing this game – I’ve been playing it since I was a kid. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do,” Kuechly said of his retirement. (h/t ESPN.com)
As hard as it is to watch Tagovailoa drop out of the sport, it would be even harder to watch him take more hits to the head.
For him, Tagovailoa should consider retiring.