Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ‘in high spirits’ Friday Head coach Mike McDaniel received a concussion during Thursday night’s game, he told reporters.
The NFL and the Dolphins are under review to decide whether to allow Tagovailoa for Thursday’s game after a quarterback was injured during a game last Sunday. McDaniel said his focus now is on Tagovaloya’s health and he’s not considering a timetable for his return to action.
“(This) is someone I’m very, very close to,” McDaniel said. “When it comes to head injuries and concussions, things are so serious, the only thing I’m worried about is people.”
The NFL is reviewing the decision to clear the Tagovailoa game and will “talk to all involved,” its chief physician told CNN on Friday.
“Any time we have a situation like this, we go back and do a thorough review of everything related to the situation, and then we go back and look at the video and medical reports,” Dr. Allan Sills told CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Friday.
“The NFL, NFL Players Association and medical leadership will be in dialogue with all involved, which means team sports coaches, team physicians, independent neuroscientists, booth observers and neuro operators on the booth, as well as The patients themselves — all of this is going on.”
Tagovailoa was fired by Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tup in the second quarter and lay motionless on the court for several minutes. The entire Dolphins sideline took to the court as he was put on a backboard and stretcher. Bengals fans in attendance at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati expressed their respect as Tagovailoa was taken off the field.
The video shows Tagovailoa’s forearm flexed and fingers twisted — a “fencing response” neurosurgeon Gupta said may be linked to brain damage. Gupta asked Sears, who is also a neurosurgeon, how worried he was after seeing that video.
“Well, of course, I’m as worried as you are about neurosurgeons, and anyone with serious injuries and neurological-like symptoms,” Sears said. “It’s imperative…to make sure we provide the most professional and prompt care we can…protect the airway, make sure there’s no spinal injury and so on.
“I’m worried about that injury and all the injuries.”
Sills noted that the NFL will “carefully review all the steps leading up to the sequence of events you describe.”
“We will be transparent about the results,” Sears said.
McDaniel said Tagovailoa had an MRI on Friday, but only as a precaution after a CT scan and X-ray after the quarterback was stretched off the field. The NMR results have not yet been released.
The Dolphins said Tagovailoa is still awake after the injury and can move all fours. He was evaluated at a local hospital on Thursday before being released to return to Miami with the team.
After the quarterback suffered apparent head and neck injuries against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, McDaniel was asked if Tagovaloya’s situation would have been handled differently.
“After being evaluated by several layers of medical professionals, he (head injury) and cleared, I’m not going to pretend I was one of them,” the coach said. “Those people, their set, left him without any head injuries. He has back and ankle problems.
“In terms of deciding not to play a guy on Thursday night, I’m concerned about his lower back and ankle and hurting him,” McDaniel added. “I have 100% confidence in our process. … If I put someone out there too early and put them at risk, I won’t be able to get along with myself.”
McDaniel said Tagovailoa was joking during the trip home from Cincinnati after the loss and was happy to be on the plane with his teammates.
He sat next to his head coach and even started playing “McGruber,” one of McDaniel’s favorite comedy films.