Dolphins fall in Cincinnati after QB Tua Tagovailoa goes on a stretcher with head and neck injuries – The Denver Post

The Miami Dolphins lost their Thursday night game to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-15, but their loss of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the head and neck is more concerning.

Tagovailoa was taken off the field on a stretcher in the second quarter at Paycor Stadium. The third-year quarterback was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game with head and neck injuries.

“Tua Tagovailoa was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.youation,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “He is aware and has movement in all his extremities.”

The Amazon Prime Video show reported that Tagovailoa was taken to the University of Cincinnati medical facility. Near the end of the game, Amazon also reported that Tagovailoa should be released from the hospital and return to South Florida with the team, which Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel confirmed after the game.

Tagovailoa, who was already playing with back and ankle injuries, was knocked down and driven to the turf on a sack by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou.

Tagovailoa landed on his bad back during the violent takedown, and the back of his head hit the ground hard from whiplash. Tagovailoa appeared motionless as he was treated on the pitch for several minutes before being carried off on the stretcher. He was lying on the ground with his hands raised and his left index finger stuck in an awkward position pointing inward.

“It was a scary moment,” McDaniel said. “It was an emotional moment that wasn’t part of the deal anyone signs up for, even though you know it’s a possibility in football to have something that you have to pull off on a stretcher.

“All his teammates, myself, we were all very worried. The best news we could have is that everything is checked, that he didn’t have anything more serious than a concussion.

Replacement quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who relieved Tagovailoa after his departure: “At the start, it was complete silence because our first concern is Tua. … [Hearing that he was able to travel back], it was a good feeling. You could see the spirits of the guys picking up, and that was great news.

The center added Connor Williams: “He is our heart. There’s a lot of emotion inside just going through it and rallying and playing for him at the end of the day.

The show leaned more towards coverage of Tagovailoa’s injury than the game itself, which saw the Dolphins battle behind Bridgewater but snap their three-game winning streak to start the season.

“We’ve all played a lot of football, but this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen,” said Amazon analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was Tagovailoa’s teammate for his rookie season. 2020 in Miami. Fitzpatrick added that he spoke with Tagovailoa on Wednesday night, and was the happiest he saw him.

Tagovailoa entered questionable Thursday after suffering back and ankle injuries he sustained in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills that prompted him to quit and re-enter that game at Hard Rock Stadium. He was also believed to have initially suffered a head injury against Buffalo before it was clarified that he suffered from back and ankle pain.

The NFL Players Association, which is investigating the procedures that allowed Tagovailoa to return for the second half against the Bills, issued a statement Thursday evening: “The health and safety of players is at the heart of the union’s mission. . Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential breach of protocol is ongoing.

After the game, McDaniel defended the team’s decision to play Tagovailoa on Thursday.

Tagovailoa was 8 of 14 for 110 yards and had one interception at the time of the injury. He looked sharp on several throws down the middle to open receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. He had another great shot to tight end Mike Gesicki between four defenders in a zone. Tagovailoa’s interception came on a deep ball underground intended for Hill.

Bridgewater, who ironically suffered a concussion against Cincinnati (2-) in December of last season while with the Denver Broncos, went 14 of 23 for 193 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Hill had 160 receiving yards for Miami on 10 receptions.

Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow was 20 of 31 for 287 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals took a fourth-quarter lead from Miami after a 43-yard pass from Burrow to Tyler Boyd put them inside Miami’s 10-yard line. They settled for 3 and a header after a third try from running back Joe Mixon at the 1-yard line by Andrew Van Ginkel. A 57-yard field goal from Evan McPherson with just over six minutes left extended Bengal’s lead, 20-15.

Driving in Cincinnati territory, Bridgewater was pulled over by Bengals safety Vonn Bell, who offered his second pick of the night after Bridgewater missed Gesicki. Cincinnati put the score out of reach on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to tight end Hayden Hurst.

“It was a hot situation. I just tried to get the ball out to beat the defender,” Bridgewater said. “He just sailed around a bit.”

Bridgewater earlier hit Hill for a 64-yard pass over the Bengals defense in the third quarter that led to a field goal with 2:40 left in the period. Miami held a 15-14 lead going into the fourth.

Bridgewater was 6 of 7 for 71 yards and a touchdown ending the first half. He led a nine-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off with a short shovel pass that running back Chase Edmonds took for a score of 7 yards after breaking several tackles. The extra point that followed missed the amount.

That moved the Dolphins closer to the Bengals, 14-12, after they earlier gave up a 59-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to receiver Tee Higgins, who beat Miami cornerback Xavien Howard on the play. Higgins led Cincinnati with 124 receiving yards.

The night started with the Dolphins allowing the Bengals to score quickly on a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 5-yard Mixon run where several Cincinnati offensive linemen got behind him to push him through the line of goal after he got up. beyond the court to win for a first try. Cornerback Keion Crossen, who got his first start with the Dolphins on Thursday, had an unnecessary and critical roughing penalty on the streak that took the Bengals into the red zone.

Miami, meanwhile, drove the full length of the field but settled for a short field goal on their first practice after Edmonds dropped what would have been a touchdown in the back of the end zone. Tagovailoa was 4 of 6 for 64 yards in the first series, looking sharp early on with his first two throws going to Hill and Waddle open down the middle for gains of 26 and 20 yards.

Tagovailoa, dealing for much of the first quarter, erred in knocking down Hill against two deep defenders as Hill had a step on them. Bell intercepted the pitch which turned out to be short and was made late. Tagovailoa had just completed his impressive throw to Gesicki for 21 yards between four defenders in one zone.

The Dolphins emerged unscathed from the turnover, however, as safety Eric Rowe made a big fourth-down save against Mixon as Bengals coach Zac Taylor opted to go fourth-and-first, a throw on the short side of the field that the dolphins sniffed. Miami got a basket after toppling Cincinnati to cut its early deficit midway through the second quarter, 7-6.

After playing Thursday, the Dolphins take the weekend off, serving as a mini-week off. They return for Week 5, at the New York Jets, on October 9.


Denise W. Whigham