“I saw him lay down. I saw that it looked like he (had) some stress going on with the impact of the hit,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said after the game. “And then once I got out to the field, I knew right away that this was at least a concussion.
“I was worried about those other things on top of that. I was obviously very worried about his head, but you know you wanted to make sure that all things with relation to the spine and back — you want to make sure that’s okay. But it was very clear to me from the onset he, had, I didn’t really know the degree of — but I knew he had the concussion. He was asking for me and when he saw me I could just tell that it wasn’t the same guy that I’m used to seeing.”
McDaniel and the Dolphins are under close scrutiny for letting Tagovailoa play in the game. The third-year quarterback had suffered what appeared to be a head injury in their Week 3 game against the Bills four days prior. Tagovailoa appeared disoriented before leaving the game briefly in what the team ultimately deemed a back injury.
McDaniel insisted that Tagovailoa had passed concussion protocols ahead of the Bengals matchup. The 24-year-old had to be stretchered off the field after taking another huge blow to the head when he was sacked by Cincinnati defensive lineman Josh Tupou.
“It was a scary moment,” McDaniel said about Tagovailoa’s injury Thursday night. “He was evaluated for a concussion and he’s in the concussion protocol … That was an emotional moment that is not part of the deal that anyone signs up for, even though you know it’s a possibility in football to have something that you have to be taken off on a stretcher.
“All of his teammates, myself, we’re all very concerned. The best news we can give is that everything is checked out that he didn’t have anything more serious than a concussion. He’ll be flying back with us here on a plane.”
Teddy Bridgewater replaced Tagovailoa and completed 14-of-23 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown. However, he threw a crucial fourth quarter interception with the Dolphins driving and trailing 20-15. Miami ended up losing, 27-15.
There is currently no timetable for Tagovailoa’s return.
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