What did Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel say about Teddy Bridgewater’s removal from Sunday’s game?
Understandably, the Dolphins coach has no desire to be on the wrong side of the debate about concussions. Yet, one has to admit the call was a strange one.
In the wake horrible hit that resulted in Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion, the NFL has now made changes to the concussion protocol. Ironically, the Dolphins are yet again face to face with what that means.
Should Dolphins’ Teddy Bridgewater have been removed against the Jets?
Whether it’s bad luck or the fates aligning, Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins are once again back in the spotlight and believe it or not, it’s concussion related. If you missed it, Miami’s backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, was removed from Sunday’s game against the New York Jets after just one play. Following a blitz from Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, Bridgewater took a heavy hit and was seen to hit his head on the turf as he went down. The tackle drew the attention of a spotter, who stated that he saw Bridgewater stumble. Now it should be noted, that Bridgewater passed all concussion tests after the play, however, he was deemed ineligible and that was that. For the record, the Jets won the game 40-17.
What’s interesting here, is the fact that more than one TV report featured video - not captured during CBS’ live broadcast - that appeared to show Bridgewater giving two thumbs-up while jogging off the field. No discernable sign of a stumble was seen. That being said, it’s clear that McDaniel is not willing to court any further controversy by questioning the decision. “But I’m also not really in the business of grading and coaching spotters,” McDaniel said on Monday. “The rules are in place for player safety, and, you know, I’m all about that. Honestly, whether he stumbled or not, the rules are the rules.” McDaniel also went on to add that sending the NFL video in an attempt to counter the spotter’s call, would be “irresponsible. Interestingly, McDaniel also indicated that Bridgewater continued to show no symptoms on Monday, but remains in concussion protocol. With that, the earliest the QB can return would be Thursday and that’s assuming he has no setback. Assuming he does return, McDaniel will then have to decide if he’s going with a QB for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, who hasn’t had much training time. “I’m not going to try to guess if that’s going to come true or not,” he said.
What about Tua Tagovailoa and who’s Skylar Thompson?
Naturally, McDaniel was also asked about his No. 1 signal caller and he admitted that it was still too early to give an idea of a timeline for Tua Tagovailoa’s return. Fans will remember that it was back on September 25th when Dolphins’ starting quarterback took a terrible hit. Indeed, it was Tagovailoa’s concussion which sparked nationwide debate and ended with the NFL and NFLPA negotiating changes to the concussion protocol. McDaniel disclosed that the team continues to monitor Tagovailoa in a “12- and 24-hour” process, before making it clear that “He’s not ready to do some football stuff yet.”
This of course means, there’s a pretty good chance that No. 3 QB Skylar Thompson will get the start. It was in fact Thompson, who stepped in for Bridgewater after that fateful first snap against the Jets. On the day, the 25-year-old rookie completed 19-of-33 passes for 166 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a 58.4 passer rating. He was sacked twice and fumbled once. If nothing else, Thompson certainly has the confidence of his team and his coach.