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Taulia Tagovailoa Opens Up About the Days Following Tua’s Injury

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa made his first comments to reporters Tuesday since watching his brother, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, get carted off the field on Thursday night.

He was with family members who live in Virginia while watching the game, and said Tuesday that it was difficult to get his mind off of what occurred. He texted his mother each hour, wanting to know how Tua was. 

Maryland played Michigan State on Saturday, but Taulia said, “Friday, I didn’t want to play the game.” By Friday night, that had changed after Taulia was finally able to speak with Tua on Friday night. 

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Terps coach Michael Locksley told reporters Saturday, “Right after dinner [Friday] night was the first time in probably 24 hours that I saw his energy. … Everybody was really on pins and needles watching him as he worked through it Friday, which is a big mental day for us. We all knew that he was not necessarily all the way there.”

During last week’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the Bengals, Tua hit the ground hard on a sack by Cincinnati defensive tackle Josh Tupou. He was taken to the hospital but was discharged later that night, flying home with the team. 

His timeline to return to the field is unknown, but the Dolphins have found themselves at target for scrutiny after they cleared the quarterback of a concussion after a concerning fall against the Bills in Week 3. Tua said after the game that it was a back injury. 

The NFL and NFL players association agreed to modify the rules surrounding the league’s concussion protocol. The NFLPA also fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who was involved in Tua’s evaluation during the Bills game after it was found the doctor made “several mistakes,” a source told ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques

The NFLPA launched an investigation after Tua was cleared to play vs. the Bills after he stumbled off the field following a major hit, and according to multiple reports, Tua is speaking with both the league and players association Tuesday as part of the investigation. 

Despite what his older brother endured, Taulia indicated that it didn’t cause him to be concerned for himself. His focus was on Tua. He said Tuesday, “I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me. I just think of: ‘Is he OK? How’s he doing?’”

Taulia was able to visit Tua in Florida because he “wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is.” The Dolphins quarterback is still in concussion protocol and will not play against the Jets this weekend. 

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