Tua Tagovailoa is returning as quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, but he admitted in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that he’d considered hanging up his cleats this offseason. After suffering multiple concussions in a matter of days during the 2022 NFL campaign, Tua said he and his family discussed whether he should return to the field, and with good reason.
“I considered it for a time,” Tagovailoa told reporters. “Having sat down with my family, having sat down with my wife, and having those kinds of conversations. Really, it would be hard for me to walk away from this game.
“It’s my health. It’s my body,” Tagovailoa added. “I feel like this is what’s best for me and my family. I love the game of football.”
Tagovailoa is right when he says it’s his health and his body. Tua seems to have made what he feels is the best decision for him. It’s hard to believe the closest members of his family are 100 percent behind the decision, but that, indeed, is a family matter. No one would’ve blamed him if he’d chosen to make an early exit from the NFL at the age of 25.
Other athletes retired early due to injuries
It wouldn’t have been the first time we’d seen a player retire early due to injuries, even at the quarterback position. Andrew Luck played just six years for the Indianapolis Colts, although he was nearly 30 at the time of his retirement before the 2019 season, many felt he could’ve played another decade at an even higher level than he’d already exhibited. Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland was 24 and played only one year before calling it a career due to concerns about his long-term health and head trauma following his rookie year in ‘14.
Tua a QB on the rise, despite concussions
Last year was Tua’s third in the league and, by far, his best. He had a breakout season, although he missed four games due to head injuries. Tagovailoa’s numbers improved in just about every significant statistical category across the board. Knowing this, it’s not hard to see why he chose to come back for another year.
Miami has a team ready to compete with the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East crown if Tagovailoa is healthy. Nothing is guaranteed, but they looked pretty damn good when he was on the field last season prior to the string of head injuries.
In another interesting tidbit during Wednesday’s press conference, Tua spoke about taking up Jiu-Jitsu to learn how to fall correctly. While this may seem unorthodox, sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box to fix a problem. No one really knows how practical his Jiu-Jitsu training will be on the field, but it can’t hurt the situation any further.
At this point, we’re all rooting for Tua to stay healthy and play, whether you’re a Dolphins fan or not. This concussion stuff is real, and it’s affecting players long after their playing days have passed.