Amidst the Rising QB Injury Crisis in the NFL, Dolphins Prioritize Protecting Tua With a $36 Million Deal

Published 12/07/2023, 11:16 AM EST

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The NFL is lately seeing an injury surge among the QBs. Kirk Cousins is out of the season with a torn Achilles, Joe Burrow is in a similar situation with a torn wrist ligament, and Deshaun Watson is out with a dislocated shoulder. Trevor Lawrence with his high-ankle sprain and Jimmy Garoppolo with constant back pain are notable among those who survived the season-ending scare. Recently, BillsJosh Allen too, played with a niggling shoulder problem. Amid these, the duty to protect the all-important quarterbacks becomes a necessity for every team.

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Taking notes, the Dolphins have sprung into action. They have secured a $36 million defensive investment to protect their darling Tagovailoa from the incoming hits and tackles. Given the quarterback’s big history with concussions, the deal makes perfect sense.

Dolphins secure 3-year deal with RT Austin Jackson

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Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman for the Dolphins, quite literally a juggernaut. He was drafted by the franchise back in 2020 and has remained in Miami since. On Thursday, the team secured the three-year extension with the RT, NFL insider Ian Rapoport announced the breaking on X (formerly, Twitter).

A right tackle protects the QB from frontal threats. Additionally, they often help out the TEs while receiving passes from the QB. With his mammoth structure, it doesn’t need to be mentioned that Jackson plays his part fairly well for the Dolphins.

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Interestingly, the team had the chance to upgrade the RT’s contract a few months ago, back in May. But they chose to invest in Tagovailoa himself with a five-year deal. Times have changed since, and the injury-prone QB position has left the same effect on the management as well. Especially regarding the QB, who was supposedly concussed three times during the last season alone.

Tua Tagovailoa and his concussion history

The Dolphins’ QB led the league in passer rating last season, with 105.5 on average. But there was another unwanted statistic that he led, and it was the number of concussions suffered. His first hit came against the Bills on September 24, where he suffered an apparent concussion, and fumbled while trying to walk. The next week, the QB suffered a clear one against the Bengals where he had to be stretched off the field.

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USA Today via Reuters

Barely 2 months into the Christmas day, the QB suffered a grade 3 cranial concussion against the Packers. Following it, the league had seen enough. Tagovailoa didn’t clear his concussion protocol until January 31 and missed the rest of the season. He even considered retirement in the offseason, in his own words.

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Fast forward to one year, and the QB is much healthier, and equally productive too. The Dolphins are moving into consecutive playoffs, and at this point in time, the team clearly prioritizes the QB’s health. So the decision to extend Jackson’s contract comes as no surprise to the fans, even though he was denied earlier. With the added safety, all it needs to be done right now is sit back and watch Tagovailoa-Hill tear the league apart.

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Written by:

Sagnik Ghosh

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My story of becoming an NFL writer is as interesting as my story of becoming an MMA practitioner. Coming from such a sport where athletes look to knock the brain cells off each other for a living, I liked the aggression that American Football had to offer. Before I even realized it, I religiously started following American football, picking up the most challenging in-depth write-ups.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav

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