Despite lingering questions about his long-term health following a season in which he sustained multiple concussions, Tua Tagovailoa’s parents maintained that the Dolphins quarterback will be back on the gridiron in 2023.
Speaking to Rob DeMello of KHON2 in Hawai’i, Diane and Galu Tagovailoa thanked supporters of their son for their well-wishes throughout the difficult year. When asked whether or not the third-year signal-caller would be back on the field in Miami next fall, both parents were definitive.
“Oh, he comes back,” Galu said Thursday, with Diane jumping in to confirm. “Yeah, he comes back. That’s their guy. I mean, they love him. We love them and what they’re doing and how [they are] helping him with his recovery and everything else, you know, trying to get him back, still going through his protocol, but we’re grateful for them, too. Very thankful for Miami, the organization, the owner, GM, and head coach, Mike [McDaniel], I mean, that guy’s special. Very special head coach.”
Tagovailoa is still recovering from two confirmed concussions during the 2022 season, the latest of which took place during Miami’s Week 16 loss to the Packers. The 24-year-old entered the league’s protocol on Dec. 26 and has remained there since, causing him to miss the final three games of the Dolphins season as well as next weekend’s Pro Bowl Games.
Though the recovery process has been lengthy, ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques reports that Tagovailoa has not suffered any sort of setback. The quarterback’s parents confirmed as much, revealing that their son is in great spirits.
“He’s great. He’s doing fine. He’s really happy and that’s the most important thing, right?” Galu Tagovailoa said. “As parents, you like to see your kids, you know, a smile on their face when you’re walking to their house and they’re home, but he’s doing great. We thank you guys for everything and the support. Hawai’i, Samoa, in New Zealand, globally, those of you that supported our son and us and our family, thank you so much. Thank you.”
Miami seemingly remains committed to keeping the former No. 5 pick—who boasted career-highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2022—as the team’s top quarterback next season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported prior to the Dolphins’ playoff loss to the Bills. The following day, general manager Chris Grier essentially confirmed Schefter’s report and suggested that the team has no reason to believe that Tagovailoa will be any more prone to concussions moving forward.
“Tua Tagovailoa is our starting quarterback,” Grier said. “Talking to doctors, we fully expect him back next year 100%.”