Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Tua Tagovailoa clears concussion protocol, set to start Week 7 vs. Steelers; Bridgewater reportedly cleared

The Miami Dolphins know when they are getting both of their quarterbacks back, most importantly when Tua Tagovailoa will return to the starting lineup. CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirms Tagovailoa has cleared concussion protocol and will start for Miami in its Week 7 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Teddy Bridgewater also has cleared concussion protocol and will serve as the backup quarterback to Skylar Thompson for Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings (per NFL Network). Bridgewater was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, as he was still working on clearing the final stages of concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa ended up missing two games as a result of his concussion, which knocked him out of Week 4’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals and sent shockwaves throughout the NFL on how he was able to play four days after stumbling around on the field in a Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa was controversially allowed to re-enter that game after sustaining what was initially described as a head injury but later referred to as a back injury. 

Tagovailoa exited and returned to that game, but the NFLPA said afterward it would review whether the Dolphins followed the concussion protocol. Miami held firm Tagovailoa had a back issue throughout the week. The NFLPA subsequently fired the the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant that ended up clearing Tagovailoa. 

Three weeks later, Tagovailoa will be back on the field playing with his teammates after concerns he wouldn’t play again this year. The Dolphins quarterback has completed 69.6% of his passes for 1,055 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions for a 109.9 passer rating through four games this season. 

Bridgewater started for Tagovailoa in Week 5 against the New York Jets and lasted just one play before leaving the game and entering concussion protocol. Thompson was selected to start Wednesday by Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel after going 19 for 33 for 166 yards with no touchdowns to one interception (58.4 rating) in relief of Bridgewater in last week’s loss to the New York Jets.

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