ESPN: Injured Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa 'in Good Spirits' After Leaving Hospital

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IV

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins looks to pass the ball during the first half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field with head and neck injuries during the second quarter of Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals after taking a sack, the team announced.

Tagovailoa was conscious with movement in all of his extremities and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further evaluation. Shortly after the game ended, the Dolphins announced Tagovailoa would be released from the hospital and fly home with the team.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Tua Tagovailoa is now at his home in South Florida, was in 'good spirits' upon landing with the team, per source. <br><br>MRI to come, possibly second opinion. Initial tests showed no structural damage.

JosinaAnderson @JosinaAnderson

I’m told <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> QB Tua Tagovailoa “traveled back with team in a neck brace. All (initial) scans were negative, nothing broken. Will have MRI when he gets back,” per a league source. I’m sure Tagovailoa was comforted by having family at the game &amp; at the hospital.

Head coach Mike McDaniel later told reporters Tagovailoa was diagnosed with a concussion.

Henry McKenna @McKennAnalysis

Mike McDaniel on Tua Tagovailoa's head injury: "That was a scary moment. He was evaluated for a concussion and is in concussion protocol. ... That was an emotional moment." <a href="https://t.co/UGkPQ2bVjd">pic.twitter.com/UGkPQ2bVjd</a>

The 2020 first-round pick is in the midst of a breakout season highlighted by a six-touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. He entered Thursday ranked first in ESPN's Total QBR (82.8) after rating 18th in that metric (55.7) last year.

Tagovailoa suffered back and ankle injuries during the Dolphins' Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills, and the NFL Players Association also launched an investigation to determine whether concussion protocols were properly enforced after he returned to that game following a halftime evaluation of a head injury.

The 24-year-old Hawai'i native missed four games in 2021 while recovering from a rib injury.

Teddy Bridgewater will lead the Miami offense with Tagovailoa sidelined.