MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — If you told the more jaded NFL enthusiasts that 52 different quarterbacks would have started games through Week 13 — with four more possible in Week 14 — they would have assumed that the Miami Dolphins‘ Tua Tagovailoa was one of those to miss time due to injury.
Tagovailoa — widely viewed as injury-prone entering the year — has bucked the worst trend of this NFL season. He has appeared in all 12 games in 2023 after missing five (including the team’s playoff game) due to two diagnosed concussions.
Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa Enjoying Healthiest Season of Career
That surprising reversal was not lost on Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, whom PFN asked about the epidemic of 2023 quarterback injuries during his Tuesday news conference.
“You’re so invested in your situation,” McDaniel replied. “I’d be like, ‘Well, to me, it feels like the healthiest year for quarterbacks ever.'”
That one-liner was a funny way for McDaniel to point out how fortunate the Dolphins have been. But Tagovailoa staying healthy isn’t due to luck, at least not exclusively.
He spent the offseason training his body not to get hurt, adding noticeable strength and learning jiu-jitsu’s art of falling safely.
Tagovailoa has not left the field due to injury yet this season, and his 94.9% participation rate is second-best on the Dolphins, behind just Austin Jackson.
McDaniel, when discussing the astounding number of starting quarterbacks in the league this year, continued:
“That seems like a lot. It does. You know, who knows what the correlation and causation of that is? I think typically it feels like it’d be 35 to 40 total in a given season. That’s completely not factual, just guess.
“[So 52] seems pretty excessive because, I don’t know, by my math, there are 32 teams, you know. Yeah, that feels like it’s almost half the league that’s dealing with it, plus the guys that are on two or three. But shoot, for the Miami Dolphins, this is the year of quarterback health.”
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