MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol and will not participate in the 2023 Pro Bowl, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced officially.
Tagovailoa was diagnosed with his second concussion of the 2022 season more than a month ago, after a Dec. 25 loss to Green Bay. He missed Miami’s final three games, including a playoff loss to Buffalo.
Tagovailoa had been selected as a Pro Bowl first alternate and would have replaced either Joe Burrow or Patrick Mahomes, one of whom will play in Super Bowl LVII after Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
The Pro Bowl will be held on Sunday Feb. 5, one week before the Super Bowl.
The Dolphins have repeated that they remain committed to Tagovailoa as their starter for the 2023 season.
“That’s something that’s driven by the doctors,” Miami coach Mike McDaniel said after the season ended. “They’re the experts in those fields, and when they tell us that he’s ready to play and as we expect, when they tell us that he’s ready to play coming in the spring or whatever, then we’ll press forward in that direction.”
Miami’s general manager Chris Grier said that after conversations with doctors provided through the NFL’s players union, they do not believe that Tagovailoa is more susceptible to concussions than any other player.
Tagovailoa was concussed Sept. 29 at Cincinnati after a scary hit that briefly knocked him unconscious. He was stretchered off the field and returned in Week 7.
Tagovailoa took another hard hit four days before the Cincinnati game in a win over Buffalo. He appeared to show concussion symptoms but stayed in the game, and the team immediately after the game said that he had a back injury.
The NFL later changed its concussion protocol to mandate that any player who shows possible concussion symptoms — including a lack of balance or stability — sit out the remainder of a game.
Tagovailoa threw for a career-high 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns in his third season. He led the NFL in passer rating.
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