Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will have an MRI after sustaining neck and head injuries in Thursday night’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
CBS Sports reported Tagovailoa traveled back to Miami with his team while wearing a neck brace. Initial scans performed at a Cincinnati hospital were negative. The Dolphins said he sustained a concussion, and NFL Network reported Friday that Tagovailoa has entered the league’s concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa was sacked by Cincinnati’s Josh Tupou and swung to the ground violently with 5:43 remaining in the first half. His head and upper back hit the turf hard and his fingers spasmed in an odd manner. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurologist, said Friday that the movement of his fingers indicated a neurological issue.
Tagovailoa, 24, was down on the field for approximately 10 minutes before being taken off the field and taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
According to the Dolphins, Tagovailoa remained conscious throughout the night and had full movement in his extremities. ESPN said Friday that Tagovailoa was in “good spirits” as he arrived back home.
The injury came four days after Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills and returned after passing the concussion protocol. Earlier in the week, the NFL Players Association indicated it would conduct an investigation into the quarterback being allowed to return to the field.
“Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission,” the union tweeted Thursday night. “Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”
Head coach Mike McDaniel said after Thursday’s game that Tagovailoa passed an evaluation by an independent neurologist and that he and the team would never jeopardize a player’s health.
“Absolutely zero patience for or will ever put a player in position for them to be in harm’s way. That’s not what I’m about at all,” McDaniel said. “No outcome of a game would influence me to be irresponsible as a head coach of a football team.”
–Field Level Media