Thursday night’s matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals was shrouded by a scary head injury suffered by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the second quarter.
Tagovailoa was sacked with eight minutes left in the second quarter, and the back of his helmet forcefully hit the ground. He was carted off the field, into an ambulance and sent to a nearby head trauma center for further evaluation.
Audiences waited on news of Tua’s status, and Miami shortly received good news.
He later regained movement in his extremities and was reportedly stable during his visit to the medical center.
According to the team’s social media, Tua “is expected to be discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and will fly home with the team tonight.”
Tagovailoa will undergo the team’s concussion protocol in the coming week. Miami’s concussion protocol recently came under question by the NFLPA after Tua took a hard hit in Week 3 that the Dolphins addressed as a “back injury.”
Footage of the hit gave viewers an inclination that Tua had possibly suffered a concussion, but the team cleared him and let the QB finish the game.
The NFLPA was skeptical of the medical team’s process and launched an investigation on whether Tagovailoa was healthy to play. The association tweeted their reaction to Tua’s head and neck injury.
Miami went on to lose against Cincinnati, 27-15, after a 13-point fourth-quarter performance by the Bengals offense. The Dolphins also suffered their first loss of the season (3-1), leaving the Philadelphia Eagles as the final undefeated team in the NFL.
“Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission,” the NFLPA’s account tweeted. “Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”
Mike McDaniel Swats Concerns
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel was pressed by the postgame media on whether Tua’s injury from Week 3 had an impact on his injury Thursday night.
“Absolutely not,” McDaniel said, repeating that his priority as head coach is to never put a player’s health at risk. “If I would have, that would be irresponsible in the first place and I shouldn’t be in this position.
“We don’t mess with that. As long as I’m the head coach, that will never be an issue.”
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela