Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa walked off the field on a stretcher Thursday during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, after sustaining apparent head and neck injuries — less than a week after he was injured in another game.
The team said in an update that Tagovailoa is conscious, has movement in all his limbs, and has been taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. She added that he is expected to be released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and return to Miami with the team Thursday night.
Mike McDaniel, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, confirmed, after the team lost 27-15, that Tagoviloa suffered from a concussion Traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head.
In the second quarter, Tagovailoa was sacked by Bengals defensive line Josh Topo and thrown motionless on the field for several minutes.
Entire lines of dolphins walked to the field where Tagoviloa was laid on the backboard and on a stretcher.
Bengals fans who attended at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati showed their respect as Tagovailoa was sent off the field.
“It was a scary moment,” McDaniel said after the match. “He was evaluated for a concussion and is in a concussion protocol state… That was an emotional moment. It’s not part of the deal anyone is involved with even though you know the possibility of it being in football.”
“All his teammates, me, were all very worried,” he added.
In a statement released Thursday night, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) said the player’s health and safety were at the “core” of their mission.
“Our concern tonight is Tawa and we hope for a full and speedy recovery,” she said. “Our investigation into a possible breach of protocol is ongoing.”
The incident comes just days after Tagovailoa suffered another head injury last Sunday in a game against the Buffalo Bills.
He was knocked out in the second quarter after a kick from full back Matt Milan hit his helmet on the ground. On his way back to the line of melee, Tagoviloa tripped and nearly lost his balance.
He was then checked for a concussion and cleared, returning to the field in the third quarter.
Next, tell the NFLPA The National Football League (NFL) wants to start a review of the handling of the apparent Tagoviloa head injury.
The dolphins later said that Tagovailoa was hit in the back, not in the head.
Tagoviloa has been listed as a suspect to play ahead of tonight’s game due to a back injury.
On Thursday, McDaniel defended the team’s decision to play Tagovailoa despite the previous injury, saying he was allowed to play by an independent doctor who specializes in a “brain issue”.
“For me, as long as I’m training here, I’m not going to fiddle with this whole situation – if there’s any kind of tendency to give someone a concussion, they go into the concussion protocol,” he said. “We don’t mess with that. I never had it and as long as I’m the head coach, that wouldn’t be a problem you guys should be worried about.”
When asked if there was anything different the team could have done after Tagovailoa’s injury on Sunday, McDaniel replied, “Not at all.”
Speaking on New Day, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, described the incident in Thursday’s game as “really scary” and “extremely disturbing” – particularly Tagoviloa’s gesture with his hands as he lay on the ground.
“When you look at the video from last night, it obviously looks like a pretty big injury. Towa has been on the floor for a long time,” Gupta said.
“This movement that he’s making with his hands…that’s an important sign, and something that people really need to pay attention to. It could be a sign that some of the pathways are fundamentally, even temporarily, disrupted between the brain and the spinal cord…If that sounds serious, He is dangerous.”
Gupta also said Tagovilwa appeared to have “extreme engine instability” when he stumbled on the field in Sunday’s game against the Bills and should not have returned to play under NFL Concussion Protocol.
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