The final thing Tua Tagovailoa remembers was getting tackled by Cincinnati Bengals nostril sort out Josh Tupou.
After that, it wasn’t till he was on the hospital at University of Cincinnati medical services and a number of the ambulance journey there when he regained consciousness following his Sept. 29 concussion suffered within the second quarter of that Thursday night time loss to the Bengals.
“I remember the entire night up to the point where I got tackled,” mentioned Tagovailoa on Wednesday, the primary time he has spoken to the media since being taken off the sphere at Paycor Stadium on a stretcher and strapped to a backboard.
“After I got tackled, I don’t remember much from there. Getting carted off, I don’t remember that. But I do remember things that were going on when I was in the ambulance and then at the hospital.”
If something, not less than it distanced his thoughts from the fact of the horrifying expertise.
“I wouldn’t say it was scary for me at the time,” mentioned Tagovailoa, who’s slated to begin for the primary time since his concussion when his Dolphins tackle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night time at Hard Rock Stadium. “There was a point where I was unconscious, so I couldn’t really tell what was going on. When I did realize what was going on, what was happening, I didn’t think of anything long-term or short-term. I was just wondering what happened.”
But now Tagovailoa, after lacking the Dolphins’ previous two losses towards the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings and having his head harm spark rule modifications within the NFL, can safely get again to doing what he loves, enjoying soccer.
“It’s been a process. That’s for sure,” mentioned Tagovailoa, who was cleared from protocol on Saturday however knew he would sit out towards Minnesota. “Having to deal with interviews with the NFL, NFLPA, and then having to go and see doctors outside with second opinions. A lot of it has been stressful, but all of it’s done for player safety.”
Making that course of simpler for Tagovailoa, he mentioned Wednesday his neighbors’ children despatched him playing cards, candies and baked items whereas he recovered.
This week, Tagovailoa will get to organize because the starter, though he mentioned he already approached the earlier week, which allowed him restricted practices on Wednesday and Thursday plus a full-participation slate on Friday earlier than his Saturday clearance, the identical approach.
Coach Mike McDaniel mentioned he doesn’t must see something additional from Tagovailoa in the best way he prepares.
“What I want to see is the same locked-in guy that I know, when he’s on it, he’s laser focused, he’s in his normal mood, but he doesn’t lose attention span at the task at hand,” McDaniel mentioned Wednesday. “That’s what I’ve grown to love about the guy.”
Said star huge receiver Tyreek Hill, who’s on a file tempo for receiving yards in a season regardless of catching passes from three completely different quarterbacks in Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson via six video games: “Having Tua back is going to be great. His whole approach to the game, his mentality, his mindset. … I can see everyone in the huddle having a good time. We’ve been doing that the past weeks, but with Tua, it’s a different level. He comes into the huddle with his swag, joking, doing his thing.”
Tagovailoa’s first sport again might be towards his former coach, Brian Flores, who’s now a defensive assistant with the Steelers.
Tagovailoa didn’t have a very pleasant relationship with Flores when the 2 had been collectively in Miami. When he regarded again on his time along with his ex-coach within the offseason, the best reminiscence he supplied was the day he received drafted.
When requested about Flores being on the opposite facet Sunday night time, he didn’t take a jab however, moderately, expressed respect for what he — and the Steelers, traditionally — do defensively.
Will Flores’ familiarity with Tagovailoa consider on Sunday?
“Yeah, of course,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “I’ve been with him for the past two years, so he definitely knows what I like, what I don’t like. But then again, schematically, this is Mike’s offense. This isn’t the same offense that I’d been running while he’s been here for the past two years.”
And Tagovailoa’s return comes on the nationwide stage, “Sunday Night Football” on NBC.
“It’s prime time, so that’s what excites me,” he mentioned. “We’ll be the only game on Sunday night. That’s exciting. You dream of being in these kind of games as a kid, and we get this opportunity, so that’ll be fun.”