09/30 20:18 CDT Dolphins' Tagovailoa has concussion, no timetable for return
Dolphins' Tagovailoa has concussion, no timetable for return
By ALANIS THAMES
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) --- Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Friday
there is no timetable for the return of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who
suffered a concussion when he hit his head against the turf a day earlier
against the Cincinnati Bengals.
McDaniel also defended the team's handling of Tagovailoa's injury last Sunday
in a win over the Buffalo Bills, when the QB took a hit from linebacker Matt
Milano late in the first half and appeared to hit his head on the turf.
Tagovailoa stumbled when he got up and was taken to the locker room to be
evaluated for a concussion, then returned to the game at the start of the third
McDaniel reiterated Friday that Tagovailoa was cleared by several layers of
medical professionals during last Sunday's game and said the QB did not have a
"My job as a coach is here for the players. I take that very serious," the
first-year coach said. "And no one else in the building strays from that."
Many observers questioned why Tagovailoa was allowed to return to the field
against the Bills. He was not in the concussion protocol leading up to
"There was no medical indication from all resources that there was anything
regarding the head," McDaniel said Friday. "If there would have been, of
course, I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I prematurely put
someone out there."
Tagovailoa had an MRI on Friday in addition to the X-rays and CT scans that
were taken the night before at a hospital in Cincinnati. He had a headache
Thursday night and Friday morning, McDaniel said.
"I'm not even really thinking about timetables or anything regarding him as a
player right now," McDaniel said. "It's all about Tua the person."
Tagovailoa was sacked by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Topou late in the first
half of Thursday night's loss to the Bengals. On the play, he spun awkwardly
and was thrown to the turf. While on the ground, Tagovailoa appeared to display
the fencing response, with his fingers frozen in front of his face.
He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded onto a
backboard and stretchered off the field.
The Dolphins later said he was conscious and had movement in all of his
extremities. He was discharged from the hospital Thursday night and flew back
to Miami with the team.
McDaniel said Tagovailoa was interacting with teammates on the flight home. He
sat next to McDaniel and talked to him about the game.
"His personality was normal Tua," McDaniel said.
Before the injury, Tagovailoa was having a breakout season, highlighted by
throwing a career-high six touchdown passes in a Week 2 win over Baltimore.
Now the former Alabama star faces another obstacle in what has been an
The Dolphins, amid a rebuild in 2020, drafted Tagovailoa No. 1 overall to be a
franchise-altering player following a college career that included a 2018
But when that didn't happen as quickly as Miami anticipated, questions arose
about whether to stick with the young quarterback or go in another direction.
Tagovailoa seemed to be answering those questions through the first three weeks
of the season, efficiently utilizing the weapons that Miami surrounded him with
during the offseason, including star receiver Tyreek Hill, to lead the Dolphins
to a 3-0 record heading into Thursday's game.
Including his 110 passing yards before leaving Thursday's game, Tagovailoa is
second in the league in passing yards (1,035) and he has thrown 10 touchdowns
with three interceptions.
Tagovailoa has dealt with several injuries, including a dislocated right hip in
2019 at Alabama.
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