Tua Tagovailoa calls process of returning stressful, ready to play

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa suffered a second frightening injury in five days when he was carted off the field Thursday. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean) (Jeff Dean, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is getting ready to return to the field.

Head coach Mike McDaniel said that Tagovailoa will prepare as the team’s starting quarterback for Sunday night’s game against the Steelers.

Tagovailoa described returning from the concussion protocols.

Tagovailoa said, “It’s been a process that’s for sure. Having to deal with interviews with the NFL and NFLPA and then having to go and see doctors outside with second opinions. I would say a lot of it has been pretty stressful. But all of it is done for player safety. I’m glad that I got to go through those things to understand more of the deals of concussions, the effects long-term, short-term.”

The quarterback said he appreciated the love and support that he was shown. He appreciated that his neighbors were kind and respectful. He said their kids brought over gifts for him.

Tagovailoa said that guys from across the league reached out to him as well.

As for the injury sustained during the Bengals, Tagovailoa said, “I wouldn’t say it was scary for me at the time because there was a point where I was unconscious so I couldn’t really tell what was going on. When I did come to and realize what was going on what was happening I didn’t think of anything long-term or short-term, I was just wondering what happened.”

Tagovailoa says he remembers the entire night up until the point where he got tackled.

He said he did not remember getting carted off.

Tagovailoa said the hardest part was watching his team go to battle, but not being able to help on the field.

Tagovailoa said, “But it sucks. As a competitor, I want to be out there with the guys. I want to be able to go out there and help our guys win games. That was a terrible feeling that I could only watch from the sideline.”

Tagovailoa said throwing the ball away hasn’t been something that he’s good in the past, but he needs to be able to be the quarterback for the team.

Tagovailoa said quarterbacks are less likely to get CTE than positions where they’re constantly getting hits to the head. Tagovailoa said that’s the information that he was told by doctors.

Tagovailoa said he doesn’t know how many concussions he’s sustained so far.

As for facing his former coach Brian Flores, Tagovailoa said, “I think it will be cool being able to go up against the guys that he’s coaching on that side. He knows personnel really well from being with us.”

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.