Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Tua Tagovailoa is not on NFL concussion protocol for Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tagovailoa briefly left in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills and was assessed for a concussion after hitting the back of his head on the ground during the second quarter.
The young quarterback stumbled trying to get back into the huddle after the game, prompting the Dolphins to evaluate him for a concussion on the sidelines and eventually in the locker room.
After the game, McDaniel and Tagovailoa both said it was the quarterback’s back that tripped him and not a head injury. Tagovailoa added that he felt like he injured his back earlier in the match and his condition deteriorated afterwards.
Tagovailoa said he passed all tests in the NFL’s concussion protocol at the half and was cleared to return to the game.
Despite Tagovailoa and McDaniel’s comments, the Players’ Association told the NFL that it wanted a review of the league’s concussion protocol due to Tagovailoa’s rapid return to play.
Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, McDaniel said the Dolphins would comply with any league investigation and insisted he wouldn’t have let his quarterback be put at risk.
“The one thing our players know better than anyone is that there are certain things that I am very sensitive to – I have been called emotional from time to time – and one of those things is the health of my players,” he told reporters.
« I’m not kidding about it at all. Tua was mad at me in the game, because he knew where he was hurt and didn’t understand why people kept talking to him about a concussion. Player safety is paramount to us and that is why these protocols are in place. »