NFL Dolphins say Tagovailoa out next Sunday with concussion
published : 4 Oct 2022 at 08:45
MIAMI: Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, whose medical health is the subject of an NFL investigation, will miss next Sunday's game against the New York Jets due to a concussion.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel ruled out Tagovailoa on Monday due to a concussion the quarterback suffered last Thursday at Cincinnati in a game many critics say he should never have been allowed to play.
Tagovailoa appeared to have suffered a head injury against Buffalo on September 25 when his head hit the ground but was allowed to return to the game with what was called a neck injury.
He was cleared to play four days later at Cincinnati but was slammed to the tuf and struck his head again, staying down for several minutes before being taken off in a stretcher and hospitalized with what was later determined to be a concussion.
The NFL said it will change its concussion protocols regarding "gross motor instability" as a result of the Tagovailoa case and that a probe of his case is ongoing.
But multiple reports said the NFL Players Association has fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who was involved in allowing Tagovailoa to return against Buffalo.
"I can't speak on what the league and the union decide to do with that particular specialist," McDaniel said.
In the wake of the controversy, McDaniel said Tagovailoa's return timetable is uncertain.
"This is something that is too early to give a definitely timeline," McDaniel said. "I can comfortably say he will be out for this game."
Teddy Bridgewater will start in place of Tagovailoa against the Jets.
McDaniel would not go so far as to say Tagovailoa would be put on the injured reserve list, which would bench the passer for at least four weeks.
"He has had a couple of good days," McDaniel said. "He's just trying to go through with the proper procedure and protocol."
McDaniel said the decision on when Tagovailoa returns will follow NFL rules.
"It's a collection of people advising," McDaniel said. "That's something we'll always hold ourselves accountable to."
The updated NFL protocol is expected to ban players with gross motor instability from returning to an NFL game.
Currently, such players cannot return if the team physician, after speaking with the consultant, determines the instability is neurologically caused, leaving a loophole to return.
"In terms of the new adjusted rule, moving forward, if it's safer for one extra player, then I'm all for it," McDaniel said, saying he is "very confident" in the team's medical staff.