Tua Tagovailoa of the Dolphins has a second confirmed concussion; Teddy Bridgewater will start against the Patriots in Week 17. Tua Tagovailoa of the Dolphins has a second confirmed concussion; Teddy Bridgewater will start against the Patriots in Week 17.


The Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa didn’t exhibit or disclose any early symptoms during Sunday’s Week 16 loss to the Packers despite suffering a head injury, according to the NFL’s chief medical officer this week. Two days later, coach Mike McDaniel informed the media that Tagovailoa has been effectively ruled out for the impending rematch in Week 17 against the Patriots — and indefinitely — due to yet another verified concussion.

Medical experts have instructed me that Tua must focus just on the day he is now experiencing, not on anything else, McDaniel said on Wednesday. “He is in the building, but beyond that, as medical specialists will tell you, any added pressure (to return to the field)… does not behoove the process…. (We’re concerned) about his health in the first instance…. This is a human being, and I’ll do what the medical experts urge me to do.”

McDaniel and the Dolphins have made preparations for Tua’s absence against New England and possibly beyond as a result of that advice, which included confirmation that Tagovailoa sustained at least his second concussion of the 2022 season against Green Bay.

Teddy Bridgewater will start today, according to the strategy McDaniel is employing. This is the reason we felt it was so important to pursue (Bridgewater) in free agency.

When asked about Tagovailoa’s health, McDaniel declined to provide further information, merely stating that “he’s better than yesterday” and that he feels “horrible” for the quarterback having to go through the concussion protocol again. The QB is concentrating on a day-to-day recovery, so the coach didn’t provide a timeline for Tagovailoa’s probable return, saying it would be “irresponsible” of him to do so.

Tagovailoa has officially entered the concussion protocol twice this season, but the former first-round pick has fought apparent head injuries three different times in 2022, the year in which he started off on an MVP pace. The quarterback briefly left the game in Week 3 after seeming to sustain a possible concussion, with Miami later classifying his injury as a back problem. Days later, while participating in “Thursday Night Football,” he was hospitalized for a short time before missing two games due to a diagnosed concussion. After taking a severe hit to the head against the Packers on Sunday, he did not exhibit any outward signs of an injury, but a day later he reported discomfort.

Since then, the NFL Players Association has started an investigation into Tagovailoa’s most recent concussion and the circumstances surrounding its discovery.