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Mac Jones voices support for former college teammate Tua Tagovailoa ahead of Patriots-Dolphins clash

Related: Patriots to face Teddy Bridgewater, not Tua Tagovailoa, as Dolphins starting quarterback in Week 17

New England Patriots Vs. Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will not participate in this week’s game against the New England Patriots. The third-year man was diagnosed with a concussion following his team’s loss against Green Bay on Sunday.

Tagovailoa has been down this road before. He was first evaluated for a concussion in late September, and later had to miss two games in October. While he did eventually return to play some solid football to lead Miami into playoff contention, he now again has to miss time in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Given the nature of head injuries and Tagovailoa’s recent history, the situation is a serious one. The Dolphins are treating it as such, and as a consequence will turn to backup Teddy Bridgewater in Week 17.

On Wednesday, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was asked his thoughts on the situation in Miami. A former teammate of Tagovailoa’s at the University of Alabama, Jones was quick to voice his support for the Dolphins QB.

“I love Tua. I think he’s just a great dude,” Jones told reporters. “I was fortunate to learn from him and be his friend, obviously, at Alabama. Obviously, he’s had kind of a tough year here with the injury stuff. But he’s also has had a great year. Has played really well in almost every game. So, tough to hear that news.”

Tagovailoa spent three seasons in Tuscaloosa, arriving alongside Jones in 2017. He became the team’s starter as a sophomore and eventually left school following an injury-riddled senior campaign; the Dolphins picked him up fifth overall in the 2020 draft.

Jones, who had already replaced Tagovailoa down the stretch in 2019, took over as Alabama’s starter in 2020 and played himself into a first-round draft slot; New England selected him 15th overall in 2021.

Despite now being on opposite sites of a division rivalry, the two quarterbacks have remained friends.

“I have all the respect for him, his family, his brother, everybody. It’s a great family,” Jones said. “I hope he feels better.”

The Jones-led Patriots will take on the Tagovailoa-less Dolphins on Sunday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET at Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium.