The Miami Dolphins starting quarterback has a lot on his plate but we can add a bullseye to his back as well. Tua Tagovailoa is a big target.
The NFL wants quarterbacks to be safe, hence some of the most ridiculous rules in the NFL. Quarterback protection is a big issue and yes, at times, it goes to the extreme. We can blame salaries that are shooting skyward over the last decade and owners wanting to protect more of their financial investments. I would almost guarantee that with rising WR salaries, at some point the rules will change for them as well, more than they actually have.
Tua, however, is a different story. You don’t have to hurt Tagovailoa to get him out of a game. You don’t even have to sack him. All you need to do his hit him, push him down, get someone to say he hit his head. Do that, and the NFL is going to take him out of a game.
The target on his back is bigger than a Super Sized meal at McDonalds. Like him, hate him, or love him, Tua is one more hit away from being taken out of the game as a precaution. Why? Because we already saw that with Teddy Bridgewater against the Jets. A simple hit, an unqualified spotter, a bored neurologist, if Tua has even the slightest hint of a concussion or anything else, he is out.
Players know this in the NFL. They won’t go after him to send his career into the sewer but if they can get him out of a game, they will. Especially if they can do it safely.
Pittsburgh is up next for Tua, his first return since his Thursday night nightmare and Brian Flores will do whatever he can to help his defensive coordinator and players put in a game plan to get to Tua. Not in the name of hurting him but to get into his head, mentally. To get him thinking that if he takes a big hit, he will be out.
Tua has to play this game safe. He has to get rid of the football and he needs to not try to extend plays when the game isn’t on the line. Take his shots but know when to throw the ball away.
Taking shots, potentially takes him out of the game and while opposing players may not want to take him out with something serious, an extra push might be enough.
Tua is a tough football player but he has to play smarter especially now as the NFL and everyone else will be looking for a reason.