University of Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa said he paid his brother, Tua, a visit in Florida over the weekend.
Taulia spoke to reporters during a media session on Tuesday in his first comments since Tua suffered a scary head injury in a game against the Bengals last Thursday.
“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said in reference to Tua’s health status. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”
After Maryland beat Michigan State on Saturday, Taulia did not speak to the media.
On Tuesday, he revealed that he was so distraught over his brother’s injury that he considered not playing his own college football game that weekend.
But Tua encouraged his younger to keep playing football. Taulia ultimately did suit up for Maryland.
“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia said, via AL.com. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”
The Tagovailoa brothers are known to have a close relationship and Taulia shared how painful it was to see the gruesome injury.
“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”
Taulia said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation. He noted he was able to speak with Tua for the first time after the injury on Friday night.
In a Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, Tua was hit and wobbled to the turf.
Many believed Tagovailoa had suffered a concussion on the play, but the team said he passed concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa was the victim of a similar tackle Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, this time it was confirmed he suffered head and neck injuries. His hands curled up on the field, and he was taken to a hospital.
He was released shortly after and flew back to Miami with the team following the game.
In the wake of the controversy, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement saying “modifications” are “needed” in the league’s concussion protocol.
Tua recently took to Twitter and released the following statement:
“I want to thank everyone for all of their prayers and support since the game last night. It was difficult to not be able to finish the game and be there with my teammates, but I am grateful for the support and care I’ve received from the Dolphins, my friends and family, and all the people who have reached out. I’m feeling much better and focused on recovering so I can get back out on the field with my teammates.”
Tua will miss this week’s game against the New York Jets, head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Monday.
“Right now he’s in the building,” McDaniel told reporters of Tagovailoa’s status. “He’s had a couple of good days, but he’s just trying to go through with the proper procedure and protocol, so he’s feeling 100%. I know he’s going to be diligent with it.”
The NFLPA terminated the neurotrauma consultant who evaluated Tagovailoa during Miami’s game against the Bills.
McDaniel went on to say there is ‘no definitive timeline’ on Tua’s return to the field.
Taulia said he wanted to focus on his brother’s health during his visit.
“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” he said.