Tua Tagovailoa played the best football of his NFL career in 2022, but it was also cut short by some troubling injuries which posed questions about his future.
The former Alabama quarterback was put in the league’s concussion protocol twice in one year and also suffered a frightening concussion during a Thursday Night Football game against the Bengals where he was carted off the field.
With the history of CTE and former NFL players, many questioned whether Tagovailoa should even play again and when speaking with reporters on Wednesday he revealed he had those same thoughts about retiring.
“Yeah I think I considered it for a time,” Tagovailoa said. “Having sat down with my family, having sat down with my wife and having those kind of conversations, but, really, it would be hard for me to walk away from this game with how old I am, with my son — I always dreamed of playing as long as I could to where my son knew exactly what he was watching his dad do. It’s my health, it’s my body, and I feel like this is what’s best for me and my family. I love the game of football. If I didn’t, I would’ve quit a long time ago.”
This offseason Tagovailoa is taking matters into his own hands in order to avoid any further head injuries which include some jiu-jitsu training to properly learn how to fall.
“Obviously learned how to fall,” Tagovailoa said. “Learned some grappling techniques and learned some other things too that I don’t think I should disclose. But, for the most part, learn how to fall. you think it’s easy — just don’t fall and hit your head — but there’s a lot more to it.
“We used, like, crash pads to land on first with trying to fall. Obviously, tucking your chin — that was one of the deals — but it went a lot more into the technique of how to disperse your energy when you fall. Kind of like the posture you want to be in and if you’re not presented that posture, what are other things that you can do to help you disperse the energy when you fall. It’s a lot of those things. It’s actually a lot cooler than you think when you hear ‘learn how to fall.'”
Despite the history of injury throughout his career, it didn’t stop the Dolphins from picking up Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option during the offseason confirming he’ll play a part in the future of the franchise.
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