Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has reportedly managed to improve his strength during the offseason, in large part because of his new utilization of jiu-jitsu training.
Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN explored Tagovailoa’s efforts to try to avoid concussions through jiu-jitsu, showing some of the early benefits that have taken place.
“Tagovailoa strengthened his neck and core muscles through his jiu-jitsu training, to a point where a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN he is ‘the strongest he’s ever been,'” wrote Louis-Jacques.
Tagovailoa had a number of highs and lows last season, his third in the NFL. In 13 starts, he threw for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns and completed 64.8 percent of his passes.
However, the downside saw him suffer multiple concussions that called into question his ability to remain healthy.
The concerns began when he slammed his head after getting pushed to the ground during a Week 3 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa got up from that hit, but quickly staggered to the ground. He eventually returned to the game.
Just days later, a Thursday night road clash against the Cincinnati Bengals proved to be even more disastrous when he was carted off the field following a tackle. That hit resulted in him being diagnosed with a concussion.
Tagovailoa missed the next two games and then returned as a starter for the Dolphins’ next nine games. That run, as well as his season, ended during a Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers. In that matchup, Tagovailoa suffered another concussion.
The quarterback’s long-term viability was in question even before the Dolphins took him with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. In that instance, he was recovering from a serious hip injury that required surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process.
Tagovailoa eventually managed to start nine games during his rookie campaign and has since improved his on-field production each season.
Despite that continued development, there have still been trade rumors surrounding him as well as critics who believe that he won’t get any better over the course of his career.
It doesn’t make a great deal of sense to try to gauge the success of Tagovailoa’s jiu-jitsu efforts right now. The final judgment will come when he has to take legitimate hits during games this coming season.