Nick Saban addresses Tua Tagovailoa's concussions

Alabama coach Nick Saban expressed concern about his former quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, after Tua sustained two concussions playing for the Dolphins last season.

"I hate it that he’s having these issues and problems," Saban said on Stephen A. Smith's podcast. "I would trust the medical staff to make the right choices and decisions for his safety, his future. I’d love to see him continue to be able to play and have success, but I don’t want him to put himself at risk either.

"I think any time that guys start having multiple concussions, it’s a cause for concern. But again, I think that’s got to be sort of ‘How concerning is it?’ is a medical question that needs to be answered by some people who are experts in that field."

Tua missed five games last season, including a playoff loss at Buffalo. He missed four games in 2021.

“He struggled here a little bit with some injuries — a couple of ankle injuries, obviously the hip injury that he worked hard to overcome," Saban said, adding, "I love Tua. He’s a great person. I love to tell the story, if you ask Tua, 'How you doing today?' the only player I’ve ever coached that would say: 'Great, coach. Thanks for asking.'"

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Tagovailoa led the NFL in passer rating last season. This would make the Dolphins' decision to pick up his fifth-year option for 2024 an easy one, except for the medical concerns. They picked up the option on Friday.

Miami general manager Chris Grier recently conceded it was a factor.

Nick Saban, Tua Tagovailoa are Alabama icons

Tua is an Alabama legend. He led the Tide to a national championship victory and holds the school record for touchdown passes.

Alabama coach Nick Saban and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throw oranges after defeating Oklahoma in the 2018 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.
Alabama coach Nick Saban and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throw oranges after defeating Oklahoma in the 2018 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins selected Tua fifth overall in the 2020 NFL draft, even though his last season at Alabama ended with a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture.

In an effort to prevent injury by learning how to protect himself, including the best ways to take hits, avoid hits and fall, Tagovailoa is studying jiujitsu this offseason.

Joe Schad is a journalist covering the Miami Dolphins and the NFL at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at and follow him on Instagram and Twitter @schadjoe. Sign up for Joe's free weekly Dolphins Pulse Newsletter. Help support our work by subscribing today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Tua Tagovailoa's concussions leave Nick Saban with concerns