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Miami Dolphins QB Tagovailoa is in good spirits after a concussion as his NFL review continues



Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is in “good spirits” after Friday Head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters that he suffered a concussion during Thursday night’s game.

The NFL and Dolphins are under scrutiny for their decision to allow Tagovailoa to play Thursday after the quarterback was injured in last Sunday’s game. McDaniel said his focus right now is on Tagovailoa’s health and not thinking about a timetable for his return to the field.

“(It’s) someone I grew up very close to,” McDaniel said. “When it comes to head injuries and concussions, with the serious stuff, I’m only concerned about the first person.”

The NFL is reviewing the decision to clear Tagovailoa for the game and will “talk to everyone involved,” its chief medical doctor told CNN on Friday.

“Anytime we have a situation like this, we go back to do a thorough review of everything about the situation, and we go back to look at the video and the medical reports,” said Dr. Alan Sills, CNN’s chief medical correspondent. Sanjay Gupta Friday.

“The NFL, the NFL Players Association and the medical leadership are going to talk to everyone involved and that means the team athletic trainer, and the team physician, and the independent neurologist and the spotter and the neuro operator in the booth. In the booth, and the patient himself — and that’s all happening.”

Tagovailoa was sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou in the second quarter and remained motionless on the field for several minutes. The entire Dolphins walked onto the field as he was placed on a backboard and stretcher. Bengals fans in attendance at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati showed their respect as Tagovailoa was carried off the field.

The video showed Tagovailoa’s forearms flexed and his fingers curled — what Gupta, a neurosurgeon, said was a “fencing response” and could be linked to a brain injury. Gupta asked Sills, a neurosurgeon, how concerned he was after watching the video.

“Well, as a neurosurgeon I’m as concerned as you are, and anyone with significant trauma and neurological signs has that concern,” Sills said. “The immediate concern is … we do everything we can to provide the most expert and timely care possible … securing the airway, making sure there’s no spinal cord injury, and so on.

“I’m worried about that injury and all injuries.”

Sills said the NFL will “carefully review all the steps that led up to the sequence of events you described.”

“We will be transparent about the outcome of that,” Sills said.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa had an MRI Friday, but the quarterback was taken off the field on a stretcher as a precaution only after CT scans and X-rays. MRI results have not been released.

The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all of his limbs after the injury. He was evaluated at a local hospital before being released to return to Miami with the team on Thursday.

McDaniel, a first-year NFL coach, was asked if Tagovailoa would have handled the situation differently after the quarterback suffered a head and neck injury in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

“He was evaluated (for a head injury) and cleared after several layers of medical professionals, I’m not pretending to be one,” the coach said. “Those people, their collection, cleared him of any head injury. He had a back and ankle problem.

“In terms of deciding not to play a guy in Thursday night’s game, I’m concerned about his lower back and ankle and putting him at risk,” McDaniel added. “I have 100% confidence in our process. … If I put somebody out there early and hurt them, I can’t live with myself.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa was joking about being on the plane with his teammates on the flight home from Cincinnati after the loss.

He sat down next to his head coach and even started playing one of McDaniel’s favorite comedies, “MacGruber.”

Miami Dolphins QB Tagovailoa is in good spirits after a concussion as his NFL review continues

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Miami Dolphins QB Tagovailoa is in good spirits after a concussion as his NFL review continues

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Miami Dolphins QB Tagovailoa is in good spirits after a concussion as his NFL review continues

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