Tua Tagovailoa still in protocol, to miss Pro Bowl Games, source says

Tua Tagovailoa still in protocol, to miss Pro Bowl Games, source says

MIAMI — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in the concussion protocol and will not participate in next week’s Pro Bowl Games, a source told ESPN on Friday.

Tagovailoa had been named a first alternate Pro Bowler and was set to replace either Joe Burrow or Patrick Mahomes, with both quarterbacks playing in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game and one bound for Super Bowl LVII. However, Tagovailoa entered the protocol Dec. 26 after suffering a concussion in Miami’s loss to the Green Bay Packers the day before and missed the team’s final three games of the season, including a wild-card loss to the Buffalo Bills.

According to the source, Tagovailoa’s time in the protocol has been deliberate as he meets with multiple doctors and specialists. There have not been any setbacks as the Dolphins prioritize his long-term health.

The third-year quarterback set career highs in passing yards and touchdowns this season while leading the NFL in passer rating. He was also the top vote-getter in Pro Bowl fan voting.

Tagovailoa missed the better part of six games after suffering concussions in Week 4 and Week 16. The NFL and NFLPA launched two joint reviews into how his head injuries were handled this season, the first of which resulted in the termination of an unaffiliated neurological consultant who cleared Tagovailoa to play after he hit his head in Week 3 and stumbled shortly after.

The NFL altered its concussion protocol as a result of that joint review.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said earlier this month that the team will enter the 2023 season with Tagovailoa as its starting quarterback and that doctors they have spoken to do not believe the quarterback’s concussions will leave him more susceptible to head injuries moving forward.

The Dolphins have a May 1 deadline to exercise the fifth-year option on Tagovailoa’s rookie contract.

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