Tua Tagovailoa Not Flying, But Falling With Style
Tua Tagovailoa has received assurances from doctors that he isn’t an increased risk for concussions if he continues playing football.
The Miami Dolphins quarterback has been channeling his inner Buzz Lightyear this offseason by learning ‘cool’ jiu-jitsu falling techniques.
Tua Tagovailoa was placed on the NFL’s concussion protocol twice last season, including one particularly gruesome injury in a nationally televised game.
While he only missed four games in total, the experience was enough to make Tua Tagovailoa consider retirement.
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“Yeah, I think I considered it for a time,” Tagovailoa said.
“Having sat down with my family, having sat down with my wife and having those kind of conversations, but, really, it would be hard for me to walk away from this game with how old I am, with my son — I always dreamed of playing as long as I could to where my son knew exactly what he was watching his dad do.
It’s my health, it’s my body, and I feel like this is what’s best for me and my family. I love the game of football. If I didn’t, I would’ve quit a long time ago.”
His injuries sparked national debate over the safety of football players and seriousness of head injuries. It’s a conversation he will hope to avoid in 2023 by learning to minimize risk when he gets hit.
“Obviously, learned how to fall,” Tagovailoa said.
“Learned some grappling techniques and learned some other things too that I don’t think I should disclose. But, for the most part, learn how to fall. You think it’s easy — just don’t fall and hit your head — but there’s a lot more to it.
“We used, like, crash pads to land on first with trying to fall. Obviously, tucking your chin — that was one of the deals — but it went a lot more into the technique of how to disperse your energy when you fall. Kind of like the posture you want to be in and if you’re not presented that posture, what are other things that you can do to help you disperse the energy when you fall. It’s a lot of those things. It’s actually a lot cooler than you think when you hear of ‘learning how to fall.'”