MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won’t be going for his black belt.
The offseason he spent learning jiu-jitsu to improve how he falls on the football field was enough.
“If I want to become dangerous, then sure,” Tagovailoa said humorously when asked during his Thursday news conference if he plans to resume his training this offseason. “But no, I’m just learning how to fall.”
Tagovailoa also said, “I [currently] don’t take any jiu-jitsu classes. From what I’ve learned, I’ve just been practicing what has been given throughout the process where I’ve been learning to fall, and really just going over that on Thursdays.”
Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa’s Healthy 2023
Those lessons are paying off. Tagovailoa has avoided the head injuries that prematurely ended his 2022 season and caused him to contemplate retirement.
But it’s not the only reason he hasn’t missed a snap due to injury this season.
He’s maintained a rigorous conditioning program during the season with strength coach Dave Puloka, which he discussed Thursday.
“We have a routine after games and throughout the week with what we do as far as conditioning, sprint yardages so that in the game, the first time I’m sprinting is not in the game,” he said. “It’s not that long period before the first time you’re sprinting in a game. Then we have two lifts throughout that period outside of the recovery day.”
Tagovailoa is also a diligent user of the cold tub, taking a dip in the freezing waters each morning.
It’s all contributed to the healthiest season of Tagovailoa’s career.
While the other 31 teams have combined for 51 starting quarterbacks this season, the Dolphins have had just one.
“[Fifty-two starting QBs] seems pretty excessive because, I don’t know, by my math, there are 32 teams, you know,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday. “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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