Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa exits Thursday's game with head/neck injury; transported to local hospital
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken by ambulance to a Cincinnati-area hospital after sustaining head and neck injuries on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tagovailoa, who was ruled out of the game, was conscious throughout and had full movement in his extremities.
The quarterback's injury occurred in the second quarter when he was sacked by Cincinnati defensive tackle Josh Tupou with around six minutes left in the first half, and was slung down to the turf, appearing to hit the back of his head. In a frightening sight, Tagovailoa was on the ground with his arms outstretched, contorting his fingers, somewhat like a boxer or fighter after a knockout in what is referred to as a fencing response.
Tagovailoa stayed on the ground for a few minutes while trainers attended to him before a stretcher was brought out to take him off the field. He was then taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The injury to Tagovailoa comes just four days removed from him temporarily exiting the Dolphins' win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Tagovailoa left Sunday's game with what was initially announced by the team as a head injury. The QB returned to start the second half of the game and finished out the win. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said in the aftermath of the game that Tagovailoa had injured his back in the first half and the injury was exacerbated by the hit he sustained from Bills linebacker Matt Milano.
The NFL Players Association subsequently planned to investigate if proper concussion protocol was followed. The NFL on Wednesday confirmed a review was ongoing, but every indication was that proper protocol had been followed.
Leading into Thursday's game, Tagovailoa was questionable to play due to back and ankle soreness, but made the start.
Tagavailoa was 8 of 14 for 110 yards, no touchdowns and an interception prior to his exit Thursday. Teddy Bridgewater took over at quarterback for the Dolphins.
The 24-year-old Tagovailoa, the 2020 NFL Draft's fifth-overall pick, is in his third season with Miami.