Tua Tagovailoa’s Scary Head Injury Made His College QB Brother Want to Sit Out Game

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Following last week’s brutal tackle on Miami Dolphins star Tua Tagovailoa that led to a serious head injury, the QB’s brother opened up about the scary incident. Taulia Tagovailoa also currently plays quarterback in college for the University of Maryland Terrapins. While speaking to reporters, Taulia admitted his brother’s injury had an impact on him, and he wanted to sit out this past weekend’s game.

On Tuesday, Taulia took part in a media session and shared his first comments on his brother’s head injury in the Cincinnati Bengals game last Thursday night. Over the weekend, the junior in college took a trip to Florida to see Tua and spend time with him.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” Taulia said about his brother’s health. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Following Maryland’s big win over Michigan State on Saturday, Taulia did not address the media. This week though, he revealed how much his brother’s injury affected him. So much so that he considered not suiting up against the Spartans over the weekend. However, Tua Tagovailoa encouraged Taulia to play, and the younger brother eventually obliged.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia said, according to AL.com. “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.”

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he added. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tua Tagovailoa Head Injury Leads to Major Changes for NFL Concussion Protocols

During the Dolphins’ Week 3 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Tua Tagovailoa took a hard hit and stumbled off the field. Many assumed he had a concussion, but he later returned to the gridiron after supposedly passing protocol. Four days later, Miami took on Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football. That’s when the 24-year-old NFL pro sustained a second head injury within a week.

Doctors confirmed he suffered serious head and neck injuries on the play. In fact, cameras captured Tua with his hands curled up in the air before he was carted off on a stretcher. Thankfully, he had movement in all his extremities and was lucid before being taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Doctors released Tua Tagovailoa later that same night and he was able to fly back to Miami with his team.

Following the his second injury, controversy ensued over whether or not Tua should’ve ever been playing on Thursday in the first place. The NFL and NFLPA are still investigating the incident. As part of their findings, the league has fired an independent doctor that cleared Tua to return. The injury is also leading to some major changes to the NFL’s concussion protocols.

On Saturday, the NFL and NFLPA shared a joint statement after Tua Tagovailoa’s injury made national headlines. The league and PA agreed “that modifications are needed to enhance player safety.” The statement adds that officials anticipate “changes to the (concussion) protocol being made in the coming days.”