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What did Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel have to say about Tua Tagovailoa’s injury?

With coaches, players and pundits alike expressing shock over the team’s decision to play their star QB, the Dolphins head coach doesn’t agree.

Update:
What did Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel have to say about Tua Tagovailoa’s injury?
ANDY LYONSAFP

With reports of a pending NFLPA investigation into whether or not they followed the league’s concussion protocols, it’s now clear that the Miami Dolphins are going to have a number of questions to answer where Tua Tagovailoa is concerned.

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel weighs in on Tua Tagovailo’s situation

If you managed to miss it, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field on Thursday night, following a heavy hit during his team’s loss to the Bengals. Indeed, it was immediately clear that something was very wrong with the Miami’s signal caller. This of course brings us to the context of the matter. Tagovailoa, had a similar moment during last Sunday’s game against the Bills. At the time, the quarterback could be seen stumbling to the ground after attempting to stand following a similarly heavy hit. To that end, questions have been raised about whether the QB should have been on the field for Thursday’s game. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel was the first to give comment.

“It was a scary moment,” McDaniel acknowledged after Miami’s loss. “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.”

Tua Tagovailoa’s injury was definitely scary

Though the team has since announced that Tagovailoa is in “good spirits” and more importantly is able to move all of his extremities, the reality of the matter is that it was a very scary moment for everybody who witnessed it. As he was sacked, by Bengals DL Josh Tupou, Tagovailoa’s back and head could be seen banging against the ground with a force that they really shouldn’t. Indeed, McDaniel explained that he knew something was seriously wrong with his player from the moment he was called out onto the field.

“I saw him lay down. I saw that it looked like he (had) some stress going on with the impact of the hit. And then once I got out to the field, I knew right away that this was at least a concussion,” McDaniel said. “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.

Should Tagovailoa have been allowed to play?

As mentioned before, Tagovailoa had a similar moment during the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. At the time, he was allowed to re-enter the game and the team later referred to his injury as back related. Again, Tagovailoa could be seen stumbling after the hit, which of course has led many to speculate that it was in fact a head injury. Further to that, the NFLPA later indicated that they would be investigating the situation in an effort to ensure that the league’s concussion protocol was followed. To hear McDaniel tell it, however, a lack of adherence to protocol is something that would never be allowed.

“We would have reported him for having a head injury. That’s why the NFL has those protocols,” McDaniel said. “Every single game is played with an independent specialist that specializes in the specialty of brain matter.” McDaniel went further, explaining that if Tagovailoa had indeed suffered a head injury during the week, there’s no way he would have been permitted to play. “For me as long as long as I’m coaching here, I’m not going to fudge that whole situation,” McDaniel said. “If there’s any sort of inclination of someone that has a concussion and they go into concussion protocol and it’s very strict. If people don’t vary or astray, we don’t mess with that. As long as I’m the head coach that won’t be an issue that you guys have to worry about.”

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