The 2022 NFL season was not an easy one for Tua Tagovailoa’s parents, Diane and Galu.
Although Tua looked like a legitimate MVP candidate in leading the Miami Dolphins to a 3-0 start, his outlook for the season changed on a Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29.
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Tagovailoa suffered a concussion that day. Because of an apparent hit he took the head just a few days prior against the Buffalo Bills, his football future and long-term health were immediately put into question.
After missing two games, Tagovailoa was cleared to return and appeared on track to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs until the back of his head hit the ground again in a Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers. Tagovailoa was held out since then in concussion protocol. Although the Dolphins eventually made the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Tagovailoa has not played since the loss to the Packers.
Miami’s season ended with a 34-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round on Jan. 15, with backup quarterback Skylar Thompson taking all the reps for the Dolphins instead of Tagovailoa.
Although Tagovailoa’s season didn’t end the way his supporters wanted, his parents reflected on the journey and remained grateful for the positive messages and well-wishes received throughout the season.
“The power of prayer is truly amazing. And I mean, not only locally and in the United States, but globally. I mean, across the globe, everyone is just praying in agreement for his healing and just for our healing as well. You know, as parents, we don’t ever want to see our children hurt,” Diane Tagovailoa told KHON2. “So just the prayers have been so comforting and we’re so grateful.”
Added Galu Tagovailoa: “He’s great. He’s doing fine. He’s really happy and that’s the most important thing, right? As parents, you like to see your kids, you know, a smile on their face when you’re walking to their house and they’re home, but he’s doing great. We thank you guys for everything and the support. Hawaii, Samoa, in New Zealand, globally, those of you that supported our son and us and our family, thank you so much. Thank you.”
As for what’s next for Tagovailoa’s pro career, he’ll enter the fourth year of his rookie contract and doesn’t expect to play anywhere else in 2023.
“Oh, he comes back,” Galu said of his son’s status in Miami. “Yeah, he comes back. That’s their guy. I mean, they love him. We love them and what they’re doing and how (they are) helping him with his recovery and everything else, you know, trying to get him back, still going through his protocol, but we’re grateful for them, too. Very thankful for Miami, the organization, the owner, GM, and head coach, Mike (McDaniel), I mean, that guy’s special. Very special head coach.”