AP

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off with head injury

Sep 29, 2022, 7:11 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2022, 9:07 am

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first ha...

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

(AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals and was stretchered from the field.

The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious, had movement in all his extremities and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further evaluation. The Dolphins said after their 27-15 loss to the Bengals that Tagovailoa was expected to be released from the hospital and fly home with the team.

Tagovailoa was chased down and sacked by 6-foot-3, 340-pound Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He was spun around and thrown to the turf. While on the ground, his hands froze in front of his face. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded on a backboard, stabilized and strapped to a stretcher after his facemask was removed.

Dolphins players gathered around as Tagovailoa was rolled off the field and the crowd chanted “Tua! Tua!”

Miami coach Mike McDaniel said Tagovailoa called for him when he went down.

“I could tell it wasn’t the same guy that I was used to seeing,” McDaniel said. “It was a scary moment. He was evaluated for a concussion. He’s in the concussion protocol, but he’s being discharged.

“It’s an emotional moment. It’s not a part of the deal you sign up for. His teammates and myself were very concerned, but he got checked out and it’s nothing more serious than a concussion.”

Teddy Bridgewater, who replaced the injured Tagovailoa, said the Miami sideline went quiet when the starting QB was on the turf.

“Complete silence,” Bridgewater said. “He’s one of us. At the end of the day, it’s only a football game. In that moment, you saw how we feel about Tua. He’s our captain. He’s our leader. It was great to see the doctors handling the situation.”

Bengals coach Zac Taylor had an emotional reaction to Tagovailoa going down, saying: “It’s a heavy moment. You hate to see that happen. It’s a tough moment for everybody.”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow hoped Tagovailoa makes a quick return.

“It’s always scary when somebody goes out like that,” Burrow said. “It’s a dangerous game and something like that can happen at any time, but it’s always scary when it does. … Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery. I’m gonna text him after a bit and see how he’s doing.”

Reaction came swiftly from around the NFL. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Broncos QB Russell Wilson promptly tweeted with concern for Tagovailoa’s well-being.

“Praying for you Tua,” Wilson wrote.

The 24-year-old Tagovailoa was suffering from a sore back and was listed as questionable for most of the week ahead of the game.

Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills after appearing to be disoriented by what the team originally said was a head injury after taking a hard hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half. He missed just three snaps and returned after halftime, a decision that prompted a joint review by the NFL and National Football League Players Association of what went into the decision to allow him to return to the game.

The team and Tagovailoa said after Sunday’s game the quarterback had a back injury that caused his awkward stumble and fall after he was slammed into the turf in the second quarter. The team said Monday that Tagovailoa was not in concussion protocol.

He said he “hyper-extended” his back after getting his legs caught under someone on a quarterback sneak.

McDaniel said Thursday that he didn’t think an injury from last week made him fall the same way this week.

After Tagovailoa’s injury Thursday, the NFLPA tweeted: “Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission. Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”

Some criticized the decision to play Tagovailoa so soon after his injuries in Sunday’s game.

Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe tweeted: “That’s a serious injury . Tua shouldn’t have been out there with Sunday Thursday turn around. Sometimes players need protecting from themselves. Dolphins failed Tua.”

Before leaving Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa was 8 for 14 for 100 yards and an interception. Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass to Chase Edmonds with 15 seconds left in the half.

The play of Tagovailoa, who won a national championship at Alabama, has been key for the 3-0 Dolphins. He came into the game second in the NFL with 925 passing yards.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

3 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

4 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

7 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

10 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

21 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off with head injury