Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel Defends Handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s Head Injury Amid Backlash

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

For the second time in less than a week, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained a scary head injury. Many questioned if Tua should even be playing on Thursday night following a possible concussion during Sunday’s game. After Miami’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel defended his team’s handling of Tua’s head injuries amid the backlash.

Late in the second quarter last night, Tua Tagovailoa got sacked by a Bengals defender. 6′,3″, 340-pound defensive tackle Josh Tupou swung Tua around and slammed him to the ground during the play. The quarterback’s head hit the turf hard and cameras captured the scary moment as Tua didn’t move on the field.

Only four days prior on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Tua Tagovailoa took another hard hit to the head. He wobbled off as many speculated that he suffered a concussion. However, the 24-year-old QB out of Alabama returned to the game to fans and analysts’ dismay.

Many think that he had lingering concussion effects that made Thursday’s head injury even worse. Yet head coach Mike McDaniel emphasized that his quarterback did not sustain a concussion or any head injury over the weekend against the Bills in Week 3.

Mike McDaniel Doubles Down Following 2nd Tua Tagovailoa Head Injury

Following the Dolphins 27-15 loss in Cincinnati, Mike McDaniel addressed the media in Thursday night’s post-game presser. He doubled down saying that the team followed all protocols. He also shared that as long as he’s the head coach, he’ll always follow league rules pertaining to concussions and other injuries.

“Otherwise we would have reported a head injury,” McDaniel said last night. “That’s why the NFL has these protocols, and there’s not, like every single NFL game that is played, there’s an independent specialist that specializes in specialty brain matter. For me, as long as I’m coaching here, I’m not gonna fudge that whole situation. If there’s any sort of inclination that someone has a concussion, they go into concussion protocol, and it’s very strict. People don’t vary or stray. We don’t mess with that. Never have, and as long as I’m the head coach, that will never be an issue you guys have to worry about.”

After Sunday’s game, the NFLPA started an investigation into Tua Tagovailoa’s head injury. The Dolphins organization stated that they’re “happy to comply” with the inquiry. As for the NFL, the league also commented on the situation earlier this week saying that there was “every indication” that Tua passed concussion protocol.

Although Tua Tagovailoa was carried off the field on a stretcher last night, he left conscious and able to move all of his extremities. Medics took him to a local hospital for further evaluation. But the Dolphins shared that he would be discharged from the hospital and would be able to fly back to Miami with the team late Thursday night.