dolphins strategist Tua Tagovailoa has still not been cleared to play football with Miami’s playoff game against the Bills looming, coach Mike McDaniel said on Monday.
Tagovailoa, who has been on the league’s concussion protocol since Dec. 26, has not an official schedule to return but McDaniel said he hoped to get more clarity on the 24-year-old’s status by Wednesday. McDaniel said Tagovaialoa hasn’t suffered any setbacks and remains in good spirits after missing the Dolphins’ last two regular-season games, but that Miami will continue to take the situation day by day.
“When he’s cleared to train, he will train,” McDaniel said. “In the meantime, I do nothing.”
Tagovailoa’s health has been a widely discussed topic of conversation this season after he entered concussion protocol twice. The latest case came after the Dolphins’ Week 16 loss to the Packers, in which the former No. 5 pick played the entire game before reporting concussion symptoms himself the following day.
After previously launching an investigation into Tagovailoa’s first concussion in early October, the NFL and NFLPA again reviewed Miami’s handling of the quarterback’s health beginning Dec. 28. Three days later, both parties announced that the team had not violated protocol and that Tagovailoa had. showed no symptoms during the game against Green Bay.
Tagovailoa suffered his first concussion of the season in early October after being hit in the head in back-to-back games just five days apart. The NFL and NFLPA’s initial investigation into Tagovailoa’s health later led to the league revamping its concussion protocol. Additionally, the investigation led to the firing of the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in the QB’s first evaluation.
Although Tagovailoa was not part of the team’s game plan for the Dolphins’ Week 18 game against the Jets, Miami managed to pull off an 11-6 victory, which, along with a loss to the Patriots, allowed the team to qualify for the playoffs. Rookie Skylar Thompson started as quarterback for the Dolphins in the regular season finale and snapped a five-game losing streak.
Miami now faces a weekend showdown in Buffalo. The two AFC East teams split the regular-season series and will now play for a berth in the divisional round on Sunday. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. ET.