Dolphins Provide Discouraging Update For Offensive Star

NFL Analysis Network

The Miami Dolphins season has spiraled out of control in the last few weeks. They are riding a four-game losing streak which has dropped their record to 8-7 on the season, putting their playoff hopes in jeopardy.

The most straightforward way for Miami to make the playoffs is to win their final two games of the season. If they split their two games, they will need help from the other teams to qualify. At least for this week, the Dolphins will have a huge hurdle to overcome as starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa likely won’t be in the lineup.

Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol for the second time this season and is currently considered day-to-day. However, head coach Mike McDaniel said that the team is preparing as if backup Teddy Bridgewater will be under center Sunday afternoon against the New England Patriots.

The most recent concussion occurred on Christmas Day against the Green Bay Packers. Tagovailoa didn’t miss a single snap in the game, as he showed no symptoms and even took part in the post-game press conference. 

However, it was peculiar that Tagovailoa’s performance fell off a cliff later in the game. Tagovailoa is lucky that he didn’t suffer any worse of an injury against the Packers as playing while concussed is certainly dangerous.

There weren’t any symptoms shown until Monday when Tagovailoa self-reported them and was immediately placed in the protocol. A joint review of the situation by the NFL and NFLPA has begun and this is not the first time that Tagovailoa and the Dolphins are in the middle of a concussion review.

Earlier this season against the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa suffered what the Dolphins thought was a concussion. He said that it was actually a back injury that caused him to fall in the fashion that he did and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant cleared him to return to the game. That consultant was later fired.

Just four days later on Thursday Night Football, Tagovailoa suffered another scary head injury that left him unconscious and in a fencing position. That series of events led to an investigation by the NFL and NFLPA which led to the league changing its concussion protocols.

“This is a human being, very much like all players,” McDaniel said. “I’m not going to go in direct conflict with what the doctors have told me to do, which is just to worry about one day at a time.”

While the franchise would certainly love to end its playoff drought and make the postseason for the first time since the 2016 season, Tagovailoa’s long-term health needs to be taken into account here. He has suffered numerous traumatic head injuries this season and at this point, it would seem to be a detriment to put him back on the field at any point this season.