Quitting football isn’t an option for Tua Tagovailoa right now, according to his trainer, Nick Hicks.
The Dolphins quarterback is in the NFL concussion protocol for the second time this season after suffering a head injury in a the loss to the Packers on Christmas Day — which marked his second — or possibly third — head injury this season.
There’s been growing concern around Tagovailoa’s long-term health, with many debating whether or not he should be shut down for the season or beyond.
On Thursday, Hicks tweeted: “I know some of you are mad — but UNO ain’t going anywhere for a very, very long time. Get over it,” with crying-laughing emojis.
Tagovailoa, who was day-to-day after entering the protocol, will sit out Sunday’s crucial matchup with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, head coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday. Teddy Bridgewater will get the start.
“And BTW — NO ONE cares about your ‘fandom’. Being miserable is your own prerogative. Especially when the season isn’t over and the playoffs are ready and waiting,” Hicks added later. “So, jump ship & find another team. No one cares lol. Especially the Miami Dolphins and their players.”
Hicks’ tweet came after Tagovailoa’s brother, Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, weighed in on the concussion controversy, and said he believes Tua will continue to play.
“Everyone has their opinion,” Taulia told The Associated Press on Thursday ahead of Friday’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte. “My brother, I know he works hard. I know he has a family now. I want my brother to be safe, but at the same time I know that he has a love and a passion for football. I feel like he is going to make the right decision. The biggest thing is staying safe, so that is something he has to pray on. I know when it comes down to it, he will make the right decision.
“I just feel like he’s not going to stop playing football. I feel like every opportunity he has, he is going to try to play. I don’t know, it’s just ‘go until the wheels fall off.’”
The NFL and NFLPA announced Wednesday it would be investigating the Dolphins’ handling of the concussion protocol on Sunday regarding Tagovailoa.
“A joint NFL-NFLPA review of the application of the concussion protocol involving Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is now underway,” the league said in a statement. “We welcome that review and, as we have done previously, we will report the results in conjunction with the NFLPA.”
As of Friday, it is still unclear exactly when Tagovailoa sustained a concussion in Sunday’s 26-20 loss to the Packers.
The quarterback appeared to hit the back of his head on the turf with 2:40 to play before halftime, according to video replays. Tagovailoa, though, finished the game before showing concussion symptoms on Monday.
After meeting with team doctors, Tagovailoa was immediately placed in the concussion protocol.
This is the second known concussion for Tagovailoa, who was placed in protocol after being knocked unconscious and taken off the field on a stretcher during Miami’s loss to the Bengals on Sept. 29.
That came four days after he briefly left a 21-19 win over the Bills after taking a hard hit and appearing wobbly in the first half. At the time, the NFL/NFLPA reviewed the matter and vowed to pursue “every legal option” to investigate a potential protocol violation by the Dolphins concerning Tagovailoa.
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