Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa not in concussion protocol, coach Mike McDaniel says

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MIAMI – Dolphin quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has no concussion as the team prepares for Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Mike McDaniel said Monday.

Tagovailoa fell short of Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills and was assessed for a concussion after hitting the back of his head on the ground during the second quarter. He tripped while trying to jog back to the post-game huddle, prompting the Dolphins to assess him for a concussion on the sidelines and eventually in the locker room.

After the game, both McDaniel and Tagovailoa said it was the quarterback’s back that tripped him, not a head injury. Tagovailoa said he felt like he “hyperextended” his back on a designed quarterback sneak earlier in the game, and it flared up late in the second quarter.

Tagovailoa said he passed league-mandated concussion protocol during halftime and was allowed to return to the game.

Despite Tagovailoa and McDaniel’s comments, the NFL Players Association told the NFL it wanted a revision of the league’s concussion protocol due to Tagovailoa’s quick return to the game. Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, McDaniel said the Dolphins will abide by any league investigation and insisted he would not have endangered his quarterback “if there were red flags.”

“The only thing our players know better than anyone is that there are certain things that I’m very sensitive to – I’ve been called emotional from time to time – and one of those things is player health,” he said. “I don’t get involved in that at all. Tua was pretty annoyed with me in the game because he knew what hurt and didn’t understand why people kept talking to him about what we were talking about. I think he’s watching reruns he probably could.

“The main pillar for all of this is player safety – that’s why the protocols are there. We’re happy to comply and I feel good about that whole process, I really do.”

McDaniel also said Monday that Tagovailoa, as expected, was in pain and was dealing with ankle and back pain from the game.

He somehow didn’t promise Tagovailoa would be available for Thursday’s game, but did say they are still gathering information and will be ready for any scenario.

“It’s my first time in a Thursday night game with Tua, so I don’t take anything,” he said. “As far as I have access to my crystal ball — it’s broken now. That’s one of the reasons you have a roster of skilled people, that’s why we got Teddy [Bridgewater] here and drafted Skylar [Thompson]. You have to be ready for these kinds of adjustments. Just as Teddy was ready in the game, we will be ready for whatever we need to do to move forward.

“These Thursday evening games, just try to do your best. We are trying to get information as soon as possible and we will work smoothly with that. At the moment, not only Tua, but there are a lot of players that we will adapt to immediately, look if they can turn it around and give a healthy outing on Thursday.”

Tagovailoa is currently the NFL’s second-largest passer, second in yards per attempt and first in QBR. He finished Sunday’s game with 186 passing yards and a touchdown on 13-of-17 passing.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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