MIAMI — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has cleared the concussion protocol, a source told ESPN, more than one month after entering it.
NFL Network was the first to report the news.
Tagovailoa was diagnosed with his second concussion of the season after hitting his head during the Dolphins’ loss to the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day. He was placed into the protocol the next day and missed the team’s final three games of the season.
He was named a first alternate to the Pro Bowl Games but will not attend despite having cleared the protocol, a source told ESPN. That source also said the length of Tagovailoa’s most recent stay in the concussion protocol was deliberate and was not the result of any debilitating symptoms or setbacks.
The third-year quarterback set career highs in completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns in a resurgent season that saw him win FedEx Air Player of the Week in Week 2 and Week 8. Tagovailoa also led the NFL in passing rating during the 2022 season .
He missed the better part of six games after sustaining 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 had cleared him to play after he hit his head in Week 3 and stumbled shortly after.
The league changed its concussion protocol as a result of that same joint review.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said that the team will enter the 2023 season with Tagovailoa as its starting quarterback and that Miami doctors have spoken to do not believe Tagovailoa’s concussions will leave him more susceptible to head injuries.