Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is pursued by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (68) in the second quarter of the NFL Week 4 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins at PayCor Stadium in downtown on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The Bengals 14-12 at halftime.

Miami Dolphins At Cincinnati Bengals Week 4

Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa learns from concussion experience

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t remember much about sustaining a concussion during his team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals late last month.

Tagovailoa acknowledged that he remembered being taken down by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou during that game on Sept. 29. His memory of the night’s events gets a bit hazier from there, he said.

“There was a point I was unconscious,” Tagovailoa said. “I remember the entire night up until the point I got tackled.

“I don’t remember being carted off. I do remember some things from the ambulance and the hospital.”

Tagovailoa also admitted he learned a great deal about concussions since being sidelined.

“It’s been a process, that’s for sure,” Tagovailoa said. “Having to deal with the interviews with the NFL and NFLPA, and then having to go see doctors outside with second opinions, a lot of it has been pretty stressful, but all of it is done for player safety, and I’m glad that I got to go through those things to understand more of the deals of concussions and the facts, long-term, short-term things like that.”

Tagovailoa has sat out Miami’s last two games — both losses. He cleared concussion protocol last week and is in line to start Sunday night’s game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4).

Coach Mike McDaniel credited Tagovailoa’s determination as a means to get back under center for the Dolphins (3-3).

“He’s laser focused. He’s in his normal mood, but he doesn’t lose attention span at the task at hand,” McDaniel said. “And that’s what I’ve grown to love about the guy. That’s why he’s been able to have some success in a completely new language and system.”

Tagovailoa, 24, led Miami to a 3-0 start this season and has completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 1,035 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

“How does it feel? It feels great. I’m excited to be back,” Tagovailoa said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 29, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (68) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa sustained a head injury on the play and left the game for treatment. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Specialists assist Dolphins in latest Tua Tagovailoa assessment

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is seeing “several outside specialists” as he continues to cope with a concussion sustained in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Mike McDaniel said Friday.

McDaniel said the team is still gathering information about the third-year quarterback’s condition and isn’t ready — yet — to put him on injured reserve. Placement on the list would require him to miss at least four games, and McDaniel said Tagovailoa would not go on the IR “today or tomorrow.”

Tagovailoa will not travel north for Sunday’s game at the New York Jets. Veteran Teddy Bridgewater will start, with rookie Skylar Thompson backing him up.

The Dolphins set off a firestorm when Tagovailoa was allowed back in the game in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills after he appeared to sustain a head injury, but the Dolphins later said he hurt his back. Since then, the doctor who cleared Tagovailoa to return to that game was fired by the NFL Players Association.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said last week that Tagovailoa was checked for concussion symptoms every day between the games against the Bills and Bengals before an independent neurologist cleared him to take the field on Sept. 29 in Cincinnati.

The 24-year-old quarterback hit his head on the turf while being sacked by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou. Tagovailoa remained on the ground for roughly 12 minutes before he was carted off the field on a stretcher and eventually taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with a concussion and neck injury.

Since then, the NFL and the players association agreed on a revised concussion protocol.

In relief of Tagovailoa in Cincinnati, Bridgewater was 14-for-23 passing for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 27-15 loss.

–Field Level Media

Sep 29, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is taken off the field after suffering a head injury following a sack by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (not pictured) in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: NFL, NFLPA interview Tua Tagovailoa on Tuesday

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is being interviewed Tuesday by representatives from the NFL and the NFL Players Association regarding his Week 3 concussion check, NFL Network and the Washington Post reported.

The league and union are conducting an investigation into the circumstances that led Tagovailoa to return to the field early in Week 3 after exhibiting concussion-like symptoms.

The NFLPA has already fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tagovailoa to return to that game, per reports, for making “several mistakes” in the process of evaluating the third-year quarterback.

The investigation could be completed as soon as the end of this week, and the NFL has said its findings will be made public.

Tagovailoa was injured in the second quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25. He stumbled to the ground while beginning to leave the field.

But after the Dolphins initially announced he was being evaluated for a head injury, Tagovailoa passed the concussion protocol and returned in the third quarter. He said after the game he hurt his back, not his head.

Four days later, he was swung to the ground by a Cincinnati Bengals player and his head and upper back hit the turf hard. His hands displayed the “fencing response,” a sign of a concussion. He was stretchered off the field and was evaluated at a Cincinnati hospital. He was released later that evening, flying back home to Miami with his teammates.

Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for Miami’s Week 5 game against the New York Jets this Sunday as he recovers from the concussion.

–Field Level Media

Sep 29, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (68) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa sustained a head injury on the play and left the game for treatment. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins rule out Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) for Week 5

The Miami Dolphins on Monday said a concussion will keep starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on the sidelines for this week’s game.

Tagovailoa remains in the concussion protocol after being slammed to the turf in the Dolphins’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said there’s no timeline on his return. The Dolphins (3-1) visit the New York Jets (2-2) on Sunday.

“He’ll be out for this game against the Jets,” McDaniel said Monday.

Teddy Bridgewater will draw the start. The Dolphins signed QB Reid Sinnett to their practice squad.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa is spending time in the practice facility as he goes through the concussion protocol. He added that the quarterback’s MRI came back clean.

The Dolphins set off a firestorm when Tagovailoa was allowed back in the game in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. Since then, the doctor who cleared Tagovailoa to return to that game was fired by the NFL Players Association.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said Friday that Tagovailoa was checked for concussion symptoms every day last week before an independent neurologist cleared him to take the field on Thursday night against the Bengals.

The 24-year-old quarterback hit his head on the turf while being sacked by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou. Tagovailoa remained on the turf for roughly 12 minutes before he was carted off the field on a stretcher and eventually taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with a concussion and neck injury.

On Monday, McDaniel maintained his belief that all the protocols were followed by the team.

“I’m still very confident with how we did that,” McDaniel said.

And who has to sign off on Tagovailoa’s return?

“It’s not one person. It’s a collection of contributing factors,” said McDaniel, who was asked if a neurologist should have the final say.

“There are different working relationships that I can’t really attest to,” McDaniel said. “In this case, there were lines of agreement, really. I don’t have an opinion on whether that’s the best or worst case for every team.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Consultant who cleared Tua Tagovailoa fired by NFLPA

The medical professional who cleared Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to play after a suspected concussion during Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills has been fired by the NFL Players Association, ESPN reported Saturday.

The unidentified doctor, described by ESPN as an “unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant,” made “several mistakes” as he evaluated Tagovailoa, per the report. Tagovailoa hit his head on the turf after he was shoved by Bills linebacker Matt Milano late in the second quarter, and the quarterback returned to start the third quarter. He appeared shaky and stumbled as he left the field, but the team reported he had a back injury.

The report also indicates that a neurotrauma consultant can be fired independently by either the NFLPA or the league.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said Friday that Tagovailoa was checked for concussion symptoms every day this week before an independent neurologist cleared him to take the field on Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 24-year-old quarterback was taken to a hospital Thursday after hitting his head on the turf while being sacked by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou in the second quarter. Tagovailoa remained on the turf for roughly 12 minutes before he was carted off the field on a stretcher and eventually taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with a concussion and neck injury.

He flew back to Miami with the team and is in the league’s concussion protocol with no timetable provided for his return. Veteran Teddy Bridgewater will quarterback the team in Tagovailoa’s absence.

The NFL Players Association initiated its right to request a review of the league’s concussion protocol following Sunday’s game.

Assocation president JC Tretter tweeted Friday that he is “outraged.”

“We are all outraged by what we have seen the last several days and scared for the safety of one of our brothers,” Tretter said. “What everyone saw both Sunday and last night were ‘no-go’ symptoms within our concussion protocols. The protocols exist to protect the player and that is why we initiated an investigation.”

Dolphins first-year head coach Mike McDaniel said Friday that the team followed the proper procedures with Tagovailoa.

“I have 100 percent conviction in our process regarding our players,” McDaniel said. “This is a player-friendly organization, and I make it very clear from the onset that my job here is for the players. I take that very seriously. No one in the building strays from that. … If there would have been anything lingering with his head, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I prematurely put someone out there and put them in harm’s way.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 29, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (68) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa sustained a head injury on the play and left the game for treatment. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals’ Josh Tupou: ‘I never intended to hurt (Tua Tagovailoa)’

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou celebrated his first career NFL sack moments after he took down Tua Tagovailoa on Thursday night.

The following day, Tupou admitted he had “mixed emotions” after his tackle on Tagovailoa caused the Miami Dolphins quarterback’s head and upper back to hit the turf hard and his fingers to spasm in an odd manner.

Tagovailoa, 24, was down on the field for approximately 10 minutes before being taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“I was excited to get my first sack, but at the same time it’s tainted because I didn’t want to hurt Tua. I never intended to hurt him,” the 28-year-old Tupou said Friday.

“I was just trying to make a rolling tackle and his head hit the ground. I don’t know him. I just know he’s another Polynesian brother. I never want to hurt anybody in the NFL.”

Tupou started Thursday’s game in place of the injured D.J. Reader, who sustained a knee injury in last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Tupou recorded three tackles in addition to his sack in the Bengals’ 27-15 win over the Dolphins.

“Even though it was a good moment for me, it was a hard moment for him and his family to see him the way he was,” Tupou said. “His health overrides my sack.”

Tupou has 55 tackles, one forced fumble and that one sack in 44 career games (19 starts) with the Bengals.

–Field Level Media

Sep 29, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (68) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa sustained a head injury on the play and left the game for treatment. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa set for MRI after hard hit

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will have an MRI after sustaining neck and head injuries in Thursday night’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

CBS Sports reported Tagovailoa traveled back to Miami with his team while wearing a neck brace. Initial scans performed at a Cincinnati hospital were negative. The Dolphins said he sustained a concussion, and NFL Network reported Friday that Tagovailoa has entered the league’s concussion protocol.

Tagovailoa was sacked by Cincinnati’s Josh Tupou and swung to the ground violently with 5:43 remaining in the first half. His head and upper back hit the turf hard and his fingers spasmed in an odd manner. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurologist, said Friday that the movement of his fingers indicated a neurological issue.

Tagovailoa, 24, was down on the field for approximately 10 minutes before being taken off the field and taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

According to the Dolphins, Tagovailoa remained conscious throughout the night and had full movement in his extremities.

The injury came four days after Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills and returned after passing the concussion protocol. Earlier in the week, the NFL Players Association indicated it would conduct an investigation into the quarterback being allowed to return to the field.

“Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission,” the union tweeted Thursday night. “Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts with wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) after running with the football for a first down against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa, Jaylen Waddle questionable for ‘TNF’

Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and second-year wide receiver Jaylen Waddle are among seven Dolphins officially listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Tagovailoa (back/ankle) and Waddle (groin) were both limited in practice Wednesday. Offensive tackle Terron Armstead (toe) missed practice again and is also listed as questionable.

Defensively, cornerback Xavien Howard (groin/glute), safety Brandon Jones (chest) and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee) were all limited Wednesday and are also questionable.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday he’s “optimistic” that Tagovailoa will play.

The third-year quarterback has completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 925 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions in Miami’s 3-0 start. He was injured during last Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills.

Backup Teddy Bridgewater would get the start if Tagovailoa can’t go.

Waddle is second in the NFL with 342 receiving yards, one slot ahead of teammate Tyreek Hill (317). Waddle has 19 catches and three touchdown receptions.

The Dolphins travel to Cincinnati (1-2) to kick off Week 4.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) pushes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Short week threatens Tua Tagovailoa availability vs. Bengals

Add ankle and back injuries to the maladies that threaten Tua Tagovailoa’s availability for the Miami Dolphins on a short week.

Head coach Mike McDaniel said Tagovailoa was experiencing soreness in line with usual aches and pains the day after a game. But Tagovailoa had medical testing on multiple parts of his body, including his ankle.

That’s in addition to the NFLPA pushing for a probe of how — or why — Tagovailoa was permitted to return Sunday after being checked for a head injury.

“He got to show a hunger and yearning to be with his brothers. All of the guys, whether they say it or not, it’s something that sits with you,” McDaniel said Monday.

Tagovailoa left the game against the visiting Buffalo Bills with 2:19 left in the second quarter. Bills linebacker Matt Milano shoved him to the ground for a roughing-the-passer penalty, and the back of Tagovailoa’s head hit the turf. He was wobbly and stumbled to the ground while running off under his own power.

Tagovailoa ended up returning for the Dolphins’ first possession of the third quarter.

After the game, the Alabama product said he hurt his back on a quarterback sneak earlier in the game.

“But for the most part, I’m good,” Tagovailoa said. “Passed whatever concussion protocol they had.”

Tagovailoa was able to stay in for the rest of the game. The Dolphins held off the Bills 21-19 to move to 3-0 and into sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

As part of the collective bargaining agreement, “the NFLPA, the NFL Management Council or any player involved in an alleged failure by a club employee or other member of a club’s medical staff to follow any of the mandatory steps required by the NFL’s Concussion Checklist shall each have the right (independently or collectively) to bring forward a complaint about such alleged failure to the Representatives, which complaint shall be submitted in writing.”

McDaniel said the Dolphins would wait for results of testing to determine a plan for Tagovailoa this week. The Dolphins visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, a challenging turnaround with a healthy quarterback. McDaniel said he’s not banking on any players who are hurt but knows there is time for the plot to change.

“I don’t assume anything (regarding Tagovailoa’s availability),” he said. “It wasn’t out of the extreme norm of bumps and bruises after a game. As far as me being able to access my crystal ball, it’s broke right now.”

Teddy Bridgewater is the Dolphins’ No. 2 quarterback and would start if Tagovailoa cannot play at Cincinnati.

–Field Level Media

Aug 1, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, US; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) watches from the field during training camp at Baptist Health Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa believes Dolphins want him, not Tom Brady

Turf wars are nothing new in the NFL, but joint practices between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could get interesting next week.

Especially for the quarterbacks.

Tua Tagovailoa is the starter for the Dolphins, who were just docked a first-round draft pick in 2023 and a 2024 third-rounder for tampering. The subject of the team’s against-the-rules attraction was Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

An investigation led by former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White on behalf of the NFL found Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had “impermissible communications” with Brady in 2019-20 when he was with the Patriots. The team was guilty of the same after the 2021 season as Brady, under contract with the Buccaneers, plotted retirement and a reported union with Sean Payton in Miami.

The Dolphins drafted Tagovailoa fifth overall in 2020.

“I would say everyone heard about it yesterday when we went into the locker room, seen it on the TV,” Tagovailoa, 24, said. “For me, I have no idea about all the details other than what was shown on TV with the $1.5 million fine and then something happening with Brady. I mean, I don’t know all the details. I don’t even know what happened. But I got to talk to a couple of the guys to kind of find out what was going on, and everyone’s wondering the same thing. So not too sure.”

It’s not the first public indication the highest of higher-ups of the Dolphins were chasing a quarterback to replace Tagovailoa. Former head coach Brian Flores said management — and specifically Ross — wanted to acquire Deshaun Watson before the NFL trade deadline in October 2021.

“I remember I came in in 2020, so whatever happened in 2019, I can’t even speak on that. I was here in 2020, and I’m still here, and I’m blessed to be here,” Tagovailoa said. “If it has to do with support from the team, I think the team’s all-in with me and all the guys that we have now.”

In 21 games as a starter with the Dolphins, Tagovailoa is 13-8 and has completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 4,467 yards with 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The Buccaneers and Brady, who was not available Wednesday because of a scheduled off day to celebrate his 45th birthday, are sharing the practice field with the Dolphins over multiple days next week.

–Field Level Media