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Dolphins’ Tua stitched up the gash on his arm, talks cornrows, gift from Rick Ross and — yes — turnovers

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa talks to the media at the Hard Rock Stadium practice facility on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 about the injury he sustained to his arm last week. (Mike Stocker/South Florida ֱ)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa talks to the media at the Hard Rock Stadium practice facility on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 about the injury he sustained to his arm last week. (Mike Stocker/South Florida ֱ)
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MIAMI GARDENS — Tua Tagovailoa didn’t come away from Friday’s win over the New York Jets unscathed.

The Miami Dolphins quarterback suffered a deep gash on his right, non-throwing arm early in the win over his team’s division rival at MetLife Stadium.

Tagovailoa made it through the game and has since gotten it fixed up before the Dolphins (8-3) take on the Washington Commanders (4-8) at FedEx Field on Sunday.

“It was a nice chunk that came off,” he said. “If someone can find that piece, that’s yours.”

Tagovailoa said he got stitches to close up the wound. He didn’t have the number of stitches when he spoke after the team’s Wednesday practice but knows it was a lengthy process.

“It looked very complex for them to put it back together,” he said.

Tagovailoa apologizes to anyone that was grossed out on the day after Thanksgiving over the image of his inner flesh exposed by Amazon Prime Video cameras.

“(My wife) didn’t see it, but she got text messages from people about what it looked like,” he said, “and they said it was disgusting while they were eating their leftover meals. Sorry, I couldn’t help you there.”

Tagovailoa reiterated, like he said after the game at MetLife, that he didn’t immediately feel it due to adrenaline. Backup quarterback Mike White pointed it out to him, he said Wednesday. He believes it was on a scramble in the first quarter Friday.

And now the Dolphins signal-caller is tempted to brag about the scar the damage may leave behind. He’s contemplating what he’s going to tell his 1-year-old son about it when he grows up.

“I think it’ll be a great story for Ace when he grows up,” he said. “I saved three people in the ocean, and I got bit by a 500-pound shark. I killed it.”

Tagovailoa was listed on the Dolphins’ Wednesday injury report for a right arm laceration and was a full participant in the day’s drills. He had a patch on the affected arm where the cut took place.

From his arm to the top of his head, Tagovailoa has now gone a week since he took out the cornrows in his hair. He said he plans on braiding it back at some point, but the itchiness has factored in.

“I just love scratching my scalp, man,” he said. “It feels good to scratch it. I’m telling you, if you’ve never had braids, ooh.”

To round out all the hot topics on Tagovailoa’s appearance, the quarterback said the fashionable jacket he wore to make his entrance into MetLife Stadium on Friday was actually gifted to him by rapper Rick Ross for his last birthday.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws the ball during practice at the Hard Rock Stadium practice facility on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. (Mike Stocker/South Florida ֱ)
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws the ball during practice at the Hard Rock Stadium on Wednesday. (Mike Stocker/South Florida ֱ)

On the field, Tagovailoa is still trying to get over his recent run of turnovers, although he’s fourth in the NFL in passer rating (103.7), third in passing touchdowns (22), second in yards per attempt (8.4) and fourth in passing yards (3,177).

He had three more turnovers against the Jets — two interceptions before halftime and a late fumble that occurred on an exchange with running back Darrynton Evans and was credited against him.

“Any quarterback in the league would probably get down on themselves the way I get down on myself when it comes to turnovers,” said Tagovailoa, who often places the blame squarely on himself, “especially when your defense is playing well and you turn the ball over. None of us try to do that. We don’t ever want that to happen, but we do know it’s a part of the game that we play.

“You just have to continue to play. Games aren’t won after you throw an interception in the first or second quarter.”

Tagovailoa is working to weigh out the risk-reward in certain scenarios of squeezing balls in to his targets versus making the safe play.

“I think a lot of it has to do with situational ball, understanding what we’re trying to get done, what we’re trying to accomplish,” Tagovailoa said. “It also stresses the importance of the ball itself. Regardless of what we’re trying to do, if we’re trying to push the ball down the field, if it’s not the exact look, live to see another down.”

Tagovailoa was impressed by his alma mater Alabama’s last-second win against rival Auburn on Saturday. Now, his Crimson Tide have the tough test of No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. He said he has a friendly bet with a Georgia alumni in the building that he has to wear Bulldogs attire next week if his school loses and vice-versa.

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