Sports Health & Fitness

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel: Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel: Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion

Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, suffered head and neck injuries during Thursday night’s 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in the Cincinnati region.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on Friday morning that he was later released from the hospital on Thursday and that he traveled home with the team.

Tagovailoa sustained a concussion during the game, according to Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, but nothing “more serious.”

Tagovailoa, who was disqualified from the game, was awake the entire time and had full use of his legs. As per McDaniel, he is in the concussion protocol.

“That was an emotional moment, that is not part of the deal that anyone signs up for, even though you know it’s a possibility in football to have something that you have to get taken off on a stretcher,” McDaniel said. “All of his teammates and myself, we were all very concerned, so the best news that we could get is that everything’s checked out, that he didn’t have anything more serious than a concussion, and will be flying back with us here on the plane.”

With about six minutes left in the first half, Cincinnati defensive tackle Josh Tupou sacked the quarterback, who was then thrown to the ground and seemed to hit the back of his head. This incident occurred in the second quarter. Tagovailoa was lying on the ground with his arms extended and his fingers twisted, looking much like a boxer or fighter after a knockdown in what is known as a fencing response.

Before being carried off the field on a stretcher, Tagovailoa lay on the ground for a while trainers attended to him. A medical center at the University of Cincinnati was then his final destination.

Only four days have passed since Tagovailoa’s temporary absence from Sunday’s Dolphins win against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa left the game on Sunday due to what the team initially described as a head injury. When the game resumed in the second half, the QB came back to complete the victory. After the game, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel claimed that Tagovailoa had hurt his back in the first half and that the hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano had made it worse.

The NFL Players Association then intended to look into whether the correct concussion protocol was adhered to. The NFL acknowledged a review on Wednesday, but all signs pointed to the correct procedure being followed. The NFLPA released a statement Thursday night stating its investigation is ongoing and that its “concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.”

McDaniel emphasized Thursday that an independent specialist evaluated Tagovailoa Sunday and he did nothing to “fudge” with the protocol being followed.

“That’s why the NFL has these protocols, and there’s not like every single NFL game that is played,” he said. “There’s an independent specialist that specializes in specialty brain matter, so for me, as long as I’m coaching here, I’m not going to fudge that whole situation. If there’s any sort of inclination that somebody has a concussion, they go into concussion protocol; it’s very strict. People don’t vary or stray; we don’t mess with that, we never have as long as I’ve been head coach, so it’d never be an issue that you guys have to worry about.”

Due to a sore back and ankle going into Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa was questionable to participate, but he started. Tagovailoa’s injuries from Sunday, in McDaniel’s opinion, had nothing to do with the events of Thursday. Furthermore, he emphasized that he would never put a player’s well-being ahead of the outcome of a game.

“I don’t think that an injury from last week made him fall the same way this week, but yeah, I do not have any, like absolutely zero patience for, or will ever put a player in position for them to be in harm’s way,” McDaniel said. “That is not what I’m about at all, and no outcome of a game would ever influence me being responsible as the head coach of a football team.”

Right before leaving the game on Thursday, Tagavailoa was 8 of 14 for 110 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. For the Dolphins, Teddy Bridgewater has taken over at quarterback.

Third season with Miami for the 24-year-old Tagovailoa, who was selected fifth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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