Utah DE Mika Tafua Played Last Three Games Of Season With Injury

Jan 13, 2022, 11:24 AM
Mika Tafua - Utah Utes vs. Ohio State - Rose Bowl Game...
Utah Utes defensive end Mika Tafua (42) in action during the first half of the Rose Bowl game against the Ohio State Buckeyes played on January 1, 2022 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – In a message of gratitude to his teammates, Utah defensive end Mika Tafua revealed that he played the last three games of the season with an injury.

Mika Tafua shared a message to his teammates on Instagram on Wednesday evening, while also talking about dealing with a sports hernia through the last three games of the season.

Tafua announced before the Rose Bowl that he will forego his senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.

“As I reflect on this roller coaster ride of a season, I want to express how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to play alongside teammates whom I call brothers,” Tafua wrote on Instagram. “Blood could not make us any closer. As we bonded together through two men and one number, WE BECAME CHAMPIONS! To Aaron and Ty, your names are etched in history and the legacy of 22 will live on forever! Thank you for being who you were and motivating us to be 22% better in everything we did and everything we will continue to do throughout our lives.

“This brotherhood comes at a price and as Devin would say, ‘on the other side of pain is success.’ In life there are two types of pains, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret,” Tafua added. “The pain of discipline comes from doing things right. It is showing up on time, working out when you don’t want to workout, or watching film when you don’t feel like watching film. The pain of regret is felt after losing a game because you failed to prepare. The kind of pain that Devin referred to is the pain of discipline.

“Throughout this season, as I saw more and more of my brothers choose to endure the pain of discipline to find success, it motivated me and pushed me past my own limits,” Tafua continued. “I am grateful for all of you for being examples and pushing me to be better, thank you!

“As I start my next chapter, it will begin on the road to recovery as I will undergo surgery on a sports hernia that I played with the last three games of the season,” Tafua added. “Sometimes having a hard time walking because of the pain, I found strength from my brothers to push through these final three games. Although we didn’t end it how we would’ve liked, I just want all my brothers to know how grateful I am for each and every one of you and know that I left every ounce I had on the field for y’all. UBOYZ for life!”

The last three games that Tafua played in were against Colorado in the regular season finale, Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game and Ohio State in the Rose Bowl Game.

In the win over Colorado, Tafua had three tackles and one sack. Against Oregon in Las Vegas, the Pac-12 sack leader recorded two tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass breakup. Against Ohio State, Tafua had one tackle.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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