Bill Belichick Weighs in on the Tua Tagovailoa Situation

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Nearly a week after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was rushed off the field with a head injury during the Cincinnati Bengals game, New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick is weighing in on the situation. 

During his appearance on The Greg Hill Show, Belichick stated he has intervened if he believed one of his players was unfit to play. “I’ve done that before,” he explained. If I see a player that I think is not functioning properly, and for some reason, it hasn’t been identified, then absolutely. I have done that – I would say not recently. Those are things that have happened at other points in my career. But yeah, absolutely.” 

Belichick’s discussion about intervening with his players comes just as Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is faced with some criticism about allowing Tua Tagovailoa to play in the Week 4 game. Tagovailoa also suffered a head injury in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. However, the quarterback was still showing concussion-like symptoms even after being medically cleared.

McDaniel recently defended the team’s approach to Tua Tagovailoa’s injuries. He also said that the team has been “transparent” with the NFLPA investigation into their medical procedures. 

Belichick then spoke about his approach to players’ injuries. “If a player doesn’t look like he’s functioning properly, we evaluate him with the medical people. But we also – as a secondary check – even if the medical people were to clear a player, we still go through a coaching clearance to make sure that he’s ready to play football, not just medically cleared. We always have a secondary evaluation on that.” 

Along With Tua Tagovailoa, New England Patriots’ Backup Quarterback Also Exited Recent Game Due to Head Injury 

Within a few days of Tua Tagovailoa exiting the Cincinnati game, Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer ended up leaving the game against the Green Bay Packers due to a head injury. Belichick stated that he doesn’t play a role in deciding the status of any injured player. 

Although he watches his players, Belichick did not discuss the current concussion protocol for the NFL. “That’s not really my field of expertise,” he explained. “Those are medical decisions. There are league people at the game that are involved in that, so I think that’s something you should really talk to them about.” 

Belichick also pointed out that he personally doesn’t have anything to do with the concussion protocols. “I’m not qualified to talk about different injuries and different classifications,” he continued. “And what should or shouldn’t happen. That would be for the professional medical people.”

Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins have announced that Tua Tagovailoa is taking a break. He will not be playing the upcoming game against the New York Jets.