Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa Expected To Start Next Week Against Pittsburgh Steelers After Clearing Concussion Protocols

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced on Saturday that Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has officially cleared concussion protocol. Tagovailoa remains inactive this week against the Minnesota Vikings, but officials say the 24-year-old is expected to return to action next week against rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Schefter went on to explain how Tua underwent more than just the NFL’s concussion protocols in order to be cleared to return.

“He (Tua) received four outside opinions, in addition to team doctors, who unanimously cleared him from protocol and all agreed that his scans showed no signs of long-term impact to the brain,” Schefter said. “This is a best-case scenario for the QB who was off to a impressive start to the 2022 season and is expected to return to action next week.”

The good news continues to roll in for Dolphins fans, as Teddy Bridgewater has also been cleared from concussion protocol. Bridgewater will be active this week, serving as backup quarterback to rookie Skylar Thompson, a 2022 7th-round draft pick who impressed many during training camp and preseason.

Tagovailoa has been sidelined since the Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 29th. The young quarterback suffered a concussion in the second quarter of the game, in addition to a neck injury, after taking a sack from Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou. Tagovailoa laid motionless on the ground for approximately twelve minutes after his head whiplashed off the turf. The quarterback was quickly taken off the field via stretcher and transported to a local medical facility at the University of Cincinnati. He didn’t stay for long, as Tagovailoa was soon discharged and allowed to fly back to Miami with Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and his teammates.

The incident sparked outrage from sports media, as many questioned why he was cleared to play just five days removed from suffering another perceived concussion in the game against division rival Buffalo Bills. Bills linebacker Matt Milano pushed Tagovailoa to the ground and his head bounced off the grass as a result. After transitioning back up to his feet, Tagovailoa was seen shaking his head momentarily before attempting to rejoin his teammates back in the huddle.

The quarterback ended up stumbling over himself, and was quickly taken to the sideline to be evaluated for a possible concussion. He was listed as questionable with a head injury at first, but returned in the second half after it was claimed that his stumble was the result of a back injury.

The New York Post has more HERE.