Schefter: Teams Say Their Staff Wouldn't Have Cleared Injured Tua Tagovailoa to Play

Adam WellsSeptember 30, 2022

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass during the game against the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 29, 2022, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH.  (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Icon Sportswire

The Miami Dolphins are under intense scrutiny after Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head and neck injury that appeared to cause his arm to seize up in the second quarter of Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Friday's episode of Get Up, ESPN's Adam Schefter noted he spoke to multiple teams that said their medical and training staffs "would not have allowed" Tagovailoa to play on a short week after the injury he sustained in Miami's Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills:

"Now he did play, and every team has a different medical staff and different standards, but again I come back to 'gross motor instability.' It's the phrase that's in the protocols, it's the phrase that people are using. People have said he has a concussion, the Dolphins said he didn't have a concussion. We don't know whether he did or he didn't. What we do know is that when he walked off that field on Sunday, something did not look right. Something was wrong, and Tua was allowed to re-enter the game after being cleared by the doctors leading up to the circumstances last night that left everybody with a deep, disturbed feeling about how the system had failed."

The Dolphins announced Tagovailoa was taken to a local hospital in Cincinnati for further examination and he has movement in all of his extremities.

After the game, the Dolphins announced Tagovailoa was "expected to be discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center" and fly home with the team.

There was a lot of controversy stemming from Tagovailoa being allowed to return to play in the second half against the Bills on Sunday.

After taking a hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano that caused his head to hit the turf late in in the second quarter, Tagovailoa got up wobbly and fell to a knee before being taken out.

The Dolphins originally announced Tagovailoa was questionable to return with a head injury. He was back on the field with the offense at the start of the third quarter.

Following Miami's 21-19 victory, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Tagovailoa's injury stemmed from a back issue that occurred early in the game and his back "locked up" after the hit from Milano.

According to Rapoport, Tagovailoa went through a concussion check in the locker room and was fully cleared.

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the NFL Players Association initiated an investigation into the handling of Tagovailoa's concussion check.

The Dolphins' official injury report leading up to Thursday's game noted Tagovailoa didn't participate in practice on Monday and was limited on Tuesday and Wednesday because of back/ankle injuries.

The NFLPA tweeted on Thursday the investigation into a potential concussion protocol violation involving the Dolphins and Tagovailoa is ongoing.

Teddy Bridgewater replaced Tagovailoa for the remainder of the game against the Bengals. Miami's next game is on Oct. 9 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.