MIAMI GARDENS – Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fell backward. His head bounced off the soccer subject. He stumbled whereas making an attempt to jog to the road of scrimmage earlier than two of his teammates stopped him from shifting additional.
Tagovailoa was shaken up, and never in a great way – all for America’s eyes to see throughout the CBS broadcast of the sport.
He was capable of stroll underneath his personal energy to the locker room. He was evaluated for a concussion within the ultimate two minutes of the primary half and through halftime. He was dominated questionable to return with a head harm, per the Dolphins.
And when the second half start, Tagovailoa was on the sector for the Dolphins at Arduous Rock Stadium.
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Why was Tagovailoa allowed to play once more? Tagovailoa’s return in Sunday’s 21-19 win over the Buffalo Payments has prompted the NFL Gamers Affiliation to hunt an investigation of the Dolphins’ dealing with of Tagovailoa’s concussion protocol proceedings, based on an individual with information of the scenario. The particular person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the scenario.
After the sport, Tagovailoa confirmed he cleared concussion protocol throughout halftime.
The harm he is feeling extra ache from, Tagovailoa stated, is to his decrease again, which he obtained X-rays on earlier than talking with the media postgame.
“Yeah, I did. I did, ” Tagovailoa stated when requested to verify whether or not his head hit the pavement on the play in query.
“However I actually hit my again first, as a result of that is what I felt first.”
In line with the league’s protocol, a participant is to be faraway from the sport and evaluated if he reveals concussion indicators. The method consists of six steps, and if any steps are constructive or inconclusive, the participant is distributed to the locker room for an analysis with the group doctor and an unaffiliated neurological marketing consultant. The participant can solely return to play if the participant passes this examination.
This is what we all know
Tagovailoa was making an attempt to maneuver his offense up the sector simply earlier than the two-minute warning within the first half, hoping to offer the Dolphins an edge in a 14-all tie.
Tagovailoa accomplished an 8-yard move to receiver Jaylen Waddle earlier than Milano made contact.
“I used to be sort of with everybody else. When he hit his head on the bottom, I assumed it was a head harm,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel stated of Tagovailoa.
Added Tagovailoa: “I hit my again. I acquired up and that is why I stumbled – my again kinda locked up on me.”
When Tagovailoa acquired up once more to proceed jogging earlier than the subsequent play started, two of his offensive linemen, veteran Terron Armstead and second-year professional Liam Eichenberg, stopped him from shifting additional.
McDaniel stated Tagovailoa described his again as feeling wobbly, utterly unfastened, and just like the versatile, clay-animated character Gumby.
“Any competitor that may by no means need to come out would do the identical factor,” Tagovailoa stated. “I used to be making an attempt my hardest to get again up and get the subsequent play in and run it.”
Tagovailoa walked off the sector earlier than the subsequent play, and he walked on his personal with Dolphins trainers again to the locker room.
Backup Teddy Bridgewater changed Tagovailoa as each groups performed the ultimate two minutes of the primary half.
The Dolphins introduced Tagovailoa’s ailment was a head harm, and he was questionable to return.
“For essentially the most half, I am good. I handed no matter concussion protocol that they had,” Tagovailoa stated. “And I am good.”
And when the second half began, Tagovailoa was on the sector and accomplished his first move to star receiver Tyreek Hill.
Tagovailoa stated the play was the second time throughout the recreation he injured his again.
Earlier within the first quarter, Tagovailoa was stuffed by the Payments’ protection throughout a quarterback sneak close to the aim line.
“On the QB sneak, I acquired my legs underneath somebody they usually tried to push again. It felt like I hyperextended my again,” Tagovailoa stated.
Added McDaniel: “He sort of acquired bent again fairly considerably on a quarterback sneak earlier.”
Going again within the recreation
After clearing concussion protocol and regardless of the again harm, Tagovailoa wished to proceed enjoying.
A yr after the Payments knocked Tagovailoa out for a number of video games with a ribs harm, and the Dolphins using a seven-game dropping streak within the collection, Tagovailoa gutted out the restricted alternatives he had on offense within the second half.
“It was uncomfortable entering into,” Tagovailoa stated. “I assume you could possibly say it was the adrenaline conserving me going.”
Tagovailoa’s greatest play got here throughout the fourth quarter when he discovered Waddle broad open over the center of the sector for a 45-yard completion that put Miami on the 7-yard line.
Three performs later, the Dolphins scored the go-ahead landing.
“He is powerful, however I already knew that,” Waddle stated of Tagovailoa. “I figured he was going to return again and suck it up.”
Tagovailoa could have three days to toughen up earlier than his subsequent recreation.
The Dolphins are on a brief week and hit the street to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday evening to start out Week 4.
Tagovailoa stated he’ll endure additional assessments and put together for his subsequent recreation in opposition to Joe Burrow, the quarterback taken 4 picks forward of him within the 2020 NFL draft.
“Proper now, it is tight. I imply, it was sore when it did occur,” Tagovailoa stated of his again.
“We’ll must see.”
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: NFLPA seeks probe into Dolphins’ dealing with of Tua Tagovailoa’s harm