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Dolphins' Mike McDaniel Not Concerned with Criticism of Tua Tagovailoa Situation

Doric SamOctober 5, 2022

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks during a post game news conference at the end of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Bills 21-19. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee )
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Miami Dolphins are still facing criticism for their handling of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after he suffered an apparent head injury against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25 and a concussion against Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29.

However, Miami head coach Mike McDaniel isn't letting people's opinions keep him up at night.

"Everything's reactionary anyway," he said Wednesday, per ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques. "So if people want to [give their opinion], whatever."

Many ripped the Dolphins for allowing Tagovailoa to play against the Cincinnati Bengals just four days after his apparent head injury against the Bills. In the second quarter against Cincinnati, Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field after hitting his head on the turf when he was sacked. He was motionless on the field for quite some time in a scary scene.

McDaniel said it would be "crumbling" to him if the criticisms were coming from within the Miami organization, but he doesn't concern himself with what outside voices have to say.

"If I'm spending time thinking about that, let's say Monday night for five secondsโ€”that's five seconds that I'm not thinking about all the other things that relate to the team and the upcoming game," he said.

The Dolphins are under investigation by the NFL and NFLPA over how they handled Tagovailoa's head injury. The team said he cleared concussion protocol at halftime prior to returning to the game against Buffalo, and later said it was a back injury that caused him to stumble to the ground. After his injury against Cincinnati, the 24-year-old was examined in a hospital before being allowed to travel back to Miami with the team.

McDaniel maintains that there were no indications that Tagovailoa had any concussion symptoms leading up to the Bengals game.

"I'm in steady communication with this guy day in and day out," McDaniel said. "We're talking about high-level football conversations about progressions and defenses and recalling stuff from two weeks previous and then him having to reiterate a 15-word play call. All things, absolutely no signs. There was no medical indication, from all resources, that there was anything regarding the head."

Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets. Veteran backup Teddy Bridgewater will start in his place. McDaniel said there is no timetable for Tagovailoa's return while he's in concussion protocol.