Dolphins’ Tagovailoa has concussion, no timetable for return

Sep 30, 2022, 12:58 AM | Updated: 6:19 pm
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals' Josh Tupou (68) duri...

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals' Josh Tupou (68) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa suffered a second frightening injury in five days when he was carted off the field Thursday. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)

(AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)

              Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
            
              Teammates gather around Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) after an injury during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
            
              Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals' Josh Tupou (68) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. Tagovailoa suffered a second frightening injury in five days when he was carted off the field Thursday. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)
            
              Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is examined during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Friday there is no timetable for the return of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion when he hit his head against the turf a day earlier against the Cincinnati Bengals.

McDaniel also defended the team’s handling of Tagovailoa’s injury last Sunday in a win over the Buffalo Bills, when the QB took a hit from linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half and appeared to hit his head on the turf. Tagovailoa stumbled when he got up and was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion, then returned to the game at the start of the third quarter.

McDaniel reiterated Friday that Tagovailoa was cleared by several layers of medical professionals during last Sunday’s game and said the QB did not have a head injury.

“My job as a coach is here for the players. I take that very serious,” the first-year coach said. “And no one else in the building strays from that.”

Many observers questioned why Tagovailoa was allowed to return to the field against the Bills. He was not in the concussion protocol leading up to Thursday’s game.

“There was no medical indication from all resources that there was anything regarding the head,” McDaniel said Friday. “If there would have been, of course, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I prematurely put someone out there.”

Tagovailoa had an MRI on Friday in addition to the X-rays and CT scans that were taken the night before at a hospital in Cincinnati. He had a headache Thursday night and Friday morning, McDaniel said.

“I’m not even really thinking about timetables or anything regarding him as a player right now,” McDaniel said. “It’s all about Tua the person.”

Tagovailoa was sacked by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Topou late in the first half of Thursday night’s loss to the Bengals. On the play, he spun awkwardly and was thrown to the turf. While on the ground, Tagovailoa appeared to display the fencing response, with his fingers frozen in front of his face.

He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded onto a backboard and stretchered off the field.

The Dolphins later said he was conscious and had movement in all of his extremities. He was discharged from the hospital Thursday night and flew back to Miami with the team.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa was interacting with teammates on the flight home. He sat next to McDaniel and talked to him about the game.

“His personality was normal Tua,” McDaniel said.

Before the injury, Tagovailoa was having a breakout season, highlighted by throwing a career-high six touchdown passes in a Week 2 win over Baltimore.

Now the former Alabama star faces another obstacle in what has been an up-and-down career.

The Dolphins, amid a rebuild in 2020, drafted Tagovailoa No. 1 overall to be a franchise-altering player following a college career that included a 2018 national championship.

But when that didn’t happen as quickly as Miami anticipated, questions arose about whether to stick with the young quarterback or go in another direction.

Tagovailoa seemed to be answering those questions through the first three weeks of the season, efficiently utilizing the weapons that Miami surrounded him with during the offseason, including star receiver Tyreek Hill, to lead the Dolphins to a 3-0 record heading into Thursday’s game.

Including his 110 passing yards before leaving Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa is second in the league in passing yards (1,035) and he has thrown 10 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Tagovailoa has dealt with several injuries, including a dislocated right hip in 2019 at Alabama.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey, left, tries to get past Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul during the first...
Associated Press

Paul back in lineup for Suns after 14-game injury absence

PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul is back in the starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns after missing a month with a sore right heel. The 12-time All-Star guard returned Wednesday night against the NBA-leading Boston Celtics. The 37-year-old was listed as questionable for the game but did some work during the team’s morning shootaround. The […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper watches during warm ups before an NFL football game bet...
Associated Press

Panthers owner settles tax fight over failed practice space

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina county where Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper started building and then abandoned a new practice facility has reached a settlement over $21 million in sales tax money given to the NFL team. Tepper will pay back the money, and York County agreed its dispute was totally resolved with […]
19 hours ago
FILE -  New York Yankees' Aaron Judge gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run, ...
Associated Press

Judge goes back to Yankees as Giants, Padres examine options

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Farhan Zaidi got a text message from Aaron Judge’s representatives early Wednesday morning. And just like that, it was over. It was time to move on. With Judge returning to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, the San Francisco Giants are mulling over their next move after […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service. There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies. Song was picked […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Then-Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza walks on the sideline during the first half of a prese...
Associated Press

Ex-Bills punter Araiza won’t be charged in alleged gang rape

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza will not be charged in connection with an alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party last year when he played football for San Diego State University, prosecutors said Wednesday. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said no charges will be […]
19 hours ago
Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) takes off in the first half of an NFL football gam...
Associated Press

McVay: Baker Mayfield likely to be active for Rams vs Vegas

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coach Sean McVay says Baker Mayfield probably will be active for the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the Raiders on Thursday night, just two days after the Rams claimed the former No. 1 draft pick off waivers from Carolina. McVay wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Mayfield playing against Las Vegas, […]
19 hours ago
Dolphins’ Tagovailoa has concussion, no timetable for return