Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins, Getty Images

The New York Jets now know which Miami Dolphins quarterback they will face in Week 5

The New York Jets will face another backup quarterback next week.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out of the Week 5 matchup at MetLife Stadium with a concussion, according to Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. This means Teddy Bridgewater will start against the Jets on Sunday.

Tua lay prone on the ground with his fingers extending rigidly following a hard hit against the Bengals that slammed his head and neck into the ground.

Spectators collectively held their breath at the sight, which was particularly scary considering that Tagovailoa had left the Bills game just four days prior after another big hit. Tua later returned to the game on Sunday. In Thursday night’s, he was taken off on a stretcher to the chants of “Tua” from a shaken Bengals crowd.

Luckily for Tagovailoa, he was conscious and had control of his extremities. He was taken to a trauma center for observation and released to return back to Miami with his team.

However, the Dolphins have come under fire for allowing Tua to return to the game on Sunday following the hit, and even more heat for playing him just four days later. The dual head trauma sparked fears of second impact syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal complication of consecutive traumatic brain injuries.

The Dolphins have done the right thing by ruling Tua out for this week. This is not just about one football game; it’s not just about football. It’s about a young man’s entire life. With all the awareness about CTE affecting the lives of current and former players in devastating ways, the NFL must protect its players to the greatest extent possible, even in such an inherently violent sport.

The Jets will instead face Teddy Bridgewater, who played for the team in the 2018 preseason before being traded to New Orleans prior to the regular season.

The dropoff in ability is rather steep, as Tua had been enjoying the beginnings of a possible breakout season prior to his injury. Tua leads all NFL quarterbacks with a 109.9 passer rating this season, throwing eight touchdowns against three interceptions while averaging 9.0 yards per pass attempt.

After taking over for Tagovailoa in Cincinnati, Bridgewater finished the game at 14-of-25 for 193 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He still averaged 7.7 yards per attempt, demonstrating that the Dolphins’ one-two punch of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle can still be a threat even with a backup QB.

Last season, Bridgewater played fairly well with the Broncos, ranking 12th among quarterbacks with a 94.9 passer rating after throwing 18 TDs against just seven INTs.

Though Bridgewater is not going to make wow plays with his arm, he is still one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league and has an arsenal of talent in front of him. The Jets cannot rest on their laurels, having seen what Jacoby Brissett did against them in Week 2. The Browns have a far better offensive line and running game than the Dolphins, but Miami’s receivers will be a challenge nonetheless.

As for Tua, our wishes for a speedy recovery are with him. Regardless of the spirit of competition, no one wants to see a football player with that kind of potentially life-altering injury.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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Jim G
Jim G
11 months ago

Despite my long time and intense hatred of the Dolphins, I feel badly for Tua. I understand why he wanted back into the game against Buffalo, he didn’t want that old “injury prone” mantra to be resurrected. But his personal health is more important,

Playing against a backup does present an opportunity for the Jets to pull out a game they might otherwise have lost. Let’s see if they can take advantage of the opportunity.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
11 months ago

I don’t know what more can be done to protect players than has already been done. Is there some super duper helmut that’s not already being used that could be used just for QBs?
The players have become so much bigger and faster that sacks, even with extremely protective rules already in place that unless the answer is in equipment, a QBs play can be over once touched ala flag football.
Back when I was a young man seeing a nose tackle run down an elusive QB was a bad joke.
Yesterday, Tua was whipped to the ground like a rag doll