Dolphins Quarterback Tagovailoa to Return to Practice

Less than two weeks after one of the most horrifying injuries in recent NFL history, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will retake the field Wednesday afternoon to resume throwing. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports Tagovailoa is scheduled to return to practice today as part of his progression through concussion protocol: Tagovailoa has been unavailable since the first half of the Dolphins' Week 4 Thursday Night Football loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The third-year quarterback suffered a frightening concussion following a sack and had to be stretchered off the field in front of a tense and hushed crowd.

Tagovailoa's trauma followed a Week 3 back injury that caused many to speculate he had actually suffered a concussion. The uncomfortable series of events inspired the NFL to put in place a revised concussion protocol that limits players' ability to return to game action after demonstrating motor instability. Tagovailoa's relatively speedy return should come as a relief to anyone who witnessed the disquieting scene against the Bengals, but even a quick recovery won't totally erase worries of a future head injury for the young passer. Any head trauma Tagovailoa encounters will be scrutinized and agonized over. Fans will fear for his safety for the rest of his career.

Sports has a long history of romanticizing toughness and fighting through pain, and Tagovailoa playing on a short week despite a "back injury" likely contributed to the ugliness and severity of his Thursday Night Football injury. Hopefully, Tagovailoa will be afforded all the time he needs to recuperate fully, and the new concussion protocol will protect players from similarly nightmarish scenarios.  

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