MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater have completed all required NFL return-to-play steps and are no longer on newly revised concussion protocols. of the league, a person with knowledge of the decisions said Saturday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins did not publicly announce the moves.
Skylar Thompson will be the starter for Sunday’s game against Minnesota. But Tagovailoa’s clearance puts him on track to return for Miami’s Oct. 22 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the game in which the Dolphins will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of their perfect 1972 season.
That decision, combined with Tagovailoa’s scene in Cincinnati days later, prompted rapid and significant changes to concussion protocols by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The most notable addition was that a balance and/or stability anomaly would be a symptom that would prohibit a player from returning to a game.
Those amended policies went into effect last weekend, and Bridgewater was caught up in them almost immediately. He lasted just one snap in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. Although he showed no symptoms of concussion, he was included in the protocols.
The Dolphins said Bridgewater showed no concussion symptoms and passed tests, but an observer reported seeing him stumble after the play. That determination (the video doesn’t appear to show a stumble) made Bridgewater ineligible to return.
Both Tagovailoa and Bridgewater had to complete a five-step return-to-play program as mandated by the league to be cleared. Tagovailoa has also seen several independent experts in recent days.
“That’s one of the reasons you get multiple opinions and go to the most skilled, highly trained, educated and knowledgeable professionals you can get your hands on, so you can get as much information as possible from experts and not laymen.” , Miami coach Mike McDaniel said this week.