Miami – Dolphin Quarterback Toa Tagoviloa He’s not in concussion protocol as the team prepares for Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Mike McDaniel said Monday.
Tagoviloa briefly left 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 stumbled while trying to run to the rally after the play, prompting the Dolphins to rate him for a concussion on the sideline and eventually into the locker room.
After the game, both McDaniel and Tagovailoa said it was the quarterback who caused his stumble, not the head injury. Tagoviloa said he felt like he was “over-stretched” in his back earlier in the game due to the midfielder’s offside, and exploded late in the second quarter.
Tagoviloa said he passed a league-imposed concussion protocol at the end of the first half and was allowed to return to the match.
Despite Tagoviloa and McDaniel’s comments, the NFL has told the NFL that it wants to review the league’s concussion protocol due to Tagoviloa’s quick return to the game. Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, McDaniel said Dolphin would comply with any league investigation and insisted he would not have allowed the midfielder to be put in harm’s way “if there were any red flags.”
“The one thing our players know better than anyone else is that there are certain things I’m very sensitive to – I get emotionally called out from time to time – and one of those things is player health,” he said. “I don’t mess with that at all. Towa was so upset 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 watching the replay maybe he could.”
“The important underpinning of all of that is player safety – that’s why the protocols are in place. We’re happy to comply and I feel good about this whole process, really.”
McDaniel said Monday that Tagovailoa was as painful as expected and dealing with ankle soreness as well as back pain from the match.
He has not committed one way or the other regarding Tagovailoa’s availability for Thursday’s match but said they are still getting the information and will be ready for any scenario.
“It’s my first time in a Thursday night game with Toa, so I can’t take anything,” he said. “As far as I can get into my crystal ball – it’s broken now. That’s one of the reasons you have a list of eligible people, and that’s why we brought Teddy [Bridgewater] Here and crafting Skyler [Thompson]. You should be ready for this type of modification. Just like Teddy was up for the game, we’d be ready for whatever we had to deal with going forward.
“In these Thursday night matches, you’re just trying to do your best. We’re trying to get the information out as quickly as we can and we’ll be working smoothly on that. Right now it’s not just Tua, but there’s a lot of players that we’re going to adapt quickly, to see if they can change situation and give a healthy walk on Thursday.”
Dolphin’s team did not train on Monday but assessed that Tagovailoa would not have been involved in the injury report.
Tagovailoa is currently the second best player in the NFL and ranks second in yards per attempt and first in QBR. He finished Sunday’s game with 186 yards and a pass 13 of 17.
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