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Tua Tagovailoa didn’t begin working through concussion protocol until the season ended

The Dolphins chose to protect his health.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered his second-documented concussion on Dec. 25 against the Green Bay Packers.

While Tagovailoa finished the game, he entered the protocol the next day and did not return for the remainder of the season. Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals and did not return until Week 7.

In a recent interview with USA Today’s Mackenzie Salmon, Tagovailoa explained how he didn’t work through concussion protocol until the season ended.

“For concussion protocol, I think the team did me the biggest service throughout that,” Tagovailoa said on Friday. “They never allowed me to go through protocol normally until the season was done. So that’s why it might have seemed like it took forever, but they were just protecting me from myself ... me and my family are very thankful to the Dolphins.”

That would mean Tagovailoa began working through concussion protocol sometime after Miami’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15. Reports surfaced on Feb. 1 that Miami’s starting quarterback cleared protocol.

Miami chose to shut Tagovailoa down for the rest of the season following his second documented concussion. He acknowledged it was the right decision, saying he was thankful for the Dolphins.

Tagovailoa threw 25 touchdown passes and led the league with an average of 8.9 yards per pass attempt.

“I would say with Tua he is our starting quarterback,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told reporters on Jan. 16. “I mean, I don’t know how we can say it any more clearly. We’ve been that way through this season and what he’s done.

“What Mike and Tua, (Darrell) Bevell, Chandler (Henley), the coaching staff have all done. They’ve all worked tremendously hard all of them together.”