Mike McDaniel confirms Tua Tagovailoa sustained concussion in Week 16, says Teddy Bridgewater will start vs. Patriots

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed that starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained a concussion in the team’s Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Tagovailoa remained in the game against Green Bay, but he won’t play in Week 17 against the New England Patriots. The team will instead start veteran backup Teddy Bridgewater, who filled in for Tagovailoa earlier this season.

McDaniel explained that ruling out Tagovailoa is to take away any added pressure for the third-year quarterback. The team is focused on him getting better each day, especially since this is the second confirmed head injury he has dealt with this season.

Earlier in the 2022 campaign, Tagovailoa went down with a scary injury against the Cincinnati Bengals that caused him to miss multiple games.

The injury against Green Bay appeared to happen when Tagovailoa was taken down after a short pass. He struggled mightily after that play, throwing all three of his interceptions in the loss after taking the hit.

McDaniel revealed that the team told Tagovailoa he should see a professional after noticing inconsistencies from the game on tape on Monday. That’s when the quarterback was diagnosed with a concussion.

This is not a good sign for the Dolphins, who already took a ton of criticism earlier in the season for playing Tagovailoa in the game against Cincinnati.

The third-year quarterback had been removed from the team’s Week 3 game versus the Buffalo Bills after he was seen stumbling after taking a big hit. Despite concerns about a head injury, he was ruled eligible to return to that game.

The next week versus the Bengals, Tagovailoa went down with a scary injury and had to go to the hospital as a result.

The Dolphins are 8-7 on the season, and they’ll rely on Bridgewater for at least Week 17 to help them clinch a playoff spot.

The veteran quarterback has been a starter for multiple teams in his career, and he should be able to run the Miami offense fairly well, especially with all of the team’s weapons.

This season, Bridgewater has appeared in four games for the Dolphins, making one start. He’s completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 522 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

It’s possible that Tagovailoa will need more time to return from his head injury, especially since it’s the second he’s suffered in the 2022 campaign alone.

The Dolphins need to keep their franchise quarterback’s health as the main priority going forward, even with the playoffs within reach.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.