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What Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa Should Consider Next

Anthony DiMoro

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Tua Tagovailoa exiting Thursday night's game against the Bengals on a stretcher(Fox)

Thursday Night's tilt between the Miami Dolphins, the hottest team in the AFC and one of the best in the entire NFL during the first month of the 2022 regular season, and defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals had the makings of a classic shootout.

What fans got was far from that, and a somber game that was highlighted by the unfortunate injury to Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, which resulted in him leaving the field on a stretcher, and exiting the stadium in an ambulance. Tagovailoa hit the back of his head on the ground while being sacked by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou.

Tagovailoa was later released from the hospital and flew back with the team to South Florida.

The injury, now deemed a concussion and neck injury, occurred when Tagovailoa was sacked and violently thrown to the ground. The eerie image of Tagovailoa's hand/finger gestures while writing on the ground in pain, raised immediate concerns across social media, and discussed on news networks.

According to ESPN, initial tests showed no structural damage and Tagovailoa was in "good spirits" upon returning to his home in South Florida on Friday.

But while social media reacted in shock and sadness, they also questioned ho Tagovailoa, who seemed to many to have suffered a concussion during Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills (deemed a back injury) would have been cleared by team doctors to play, putting his health in jeopardy.

This isn't the first major injury for Tagovailoa, who suffered a dislocated hip with a fracture to the posterior wall while playing for Alabama as they took on Mississippi State, during his college playing career, back in November 2019.

What Tua, Dolphins Should Consider

First and foremost, despite the electric start to the season, and the obvious improved play of Tagovailoa, the 24-year old's health should be the primary concern.

Tagovailoa's career has been riddled by major and minor injuries, and it's hard to believe that he can play a whole season, albeit enjoy a long career, given his health issues.

Furthermore, concussions are a serious matter, and can lead to a myriad of long-term, serious issues. We all know the horror stories of CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and how it has destroyed the lives of numerous former football players, such as Junior Seau, Andre Waters, and more recently, Demaryius Thomas.

In regards to Tua, and his long-term health and quality of life, the risk most certainly outweighs any rewards of an NFL playing career.

The best decision for the Dolphins, with Tagovailoa's health at the forefront of their thinking, and for Tua, along with his family, may be to retire from playing.

Retirement at a young age is not uncommon, as Andrew Luck demonstrated, but keeping your long-term health at the utmost importance, over the allure of championships and NFL action, is priority number 1.

Even if the Dolphins move forward with hopes of Tagovailoa returning, and with fans hoping the same, it may be best for Tua, and his family, to make the ultimate play for health, and life.

While the loss of Tagovailoa will certainly hurt on the field for Miami, their core, particularly on offense, will only be one solid quarterback away from Super Bowl contention. Via the draft, trade, or via free agency, the Dolphins will certainly be an attractive option for any talented quarterback.

And while everyone is hoping for a Super Bowl titles, the biggest win that could come out of this, is Tua being healthy and living the nest quality of life possible, despite the injuries that have already occurred.

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CEO of Gamactica and Elite Rank Media. Contributor to Sports Rants, Fright Nerd and Search Engine Watch. Former contributor for Forbes and Huffington Post. Covers sports, internet marketing, gaming, entertainment, and the content creation industries.

Miami, FL
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