Mike McDaniel gives latest update on Tua Tagovailoa’s head, neck injuries

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel walks away as 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/Joshua A. Bickel) (Joshua A. Bickel, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – On Friday, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel fielded a number of questions about the health status and decision to clear Tagovailoa to return last weekend and play on Thursday night after he was taken to the hospital with a concussion during the 2nd quarter of the game.

McDaniel said that he was cleared “by several layers of medical professionals” of having “any head injury whatsoever” in the Buffalo game.

Tagovailoa was listed as questionable to play on Thursday with back and ankle injuries and McDaniel said he would “absolutely not” do anything differently in regard to putting him in the lineup.

“In terms of deciding whether or not to play a guy on a Thursday night game, I’m concerned about his lower back and ankle and putting it in harm’s way,” McDaniel said.

“I have 100 percent conviction in our process. The only thing that would keep me from playing him would be going against medical advice. I had no worries whatsoever. I’m in steady communication with this guy. There were absolutely no signs. He had no head injury symptoms whatsoever. There was no medical indication from all resources that there was anything regarding the head. If there would have been anything lingering with his head, of course I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I prematurely put someone out there in harm’s way. This is a relationship I have with this human being. I take that seriously,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa was “still feeling some of those headaches” on Friday morning.

When asked about getting emotional McDaniel said, “I’ll never get comfortable with a player getting carted off the field, I’m just glad I can hear normal Tua in his voice.”

McDaniel said that Tua sat next to Mike McDaniel during the plane flight back home from Cincinnati and both were joking around and laughing as they watched the movie MacGruber.

When asked if there was a possibility with respect to long-term that Tua won’t play the rest of the year, ”Is that anything that you all have even thought to?”

“The most honest and forth write I can be with him is that I have no timetable or thought to when he returns, I just want him to get all the evaluations possible and do all the things recommended by medical counterparts to get back and get on the road to recovery as a human being but in terms of when we cross that bridge and a timetable, I have no idea,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel also said that in Tua’s absence, Teddy Bridgewater will remain the starter and Skyler Thompson will be listed as the backup.

The Miami Dolphins will have a 10-day break before they travel to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets on Sunday, Oct 9.

Tua addressed his supporters on Friday in a tweet:

About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. He was born in Long Island, New York, and has lived in Sunrise, Florida since 1994.