CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being sacked in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all his extremities after being taken by stretcher from the field. He was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The Dolphins said after their 27-15 loss to the Bengals that Tagovailoa was expected to be released from the hospital and fly home with the team.
Tagovailoa was chased down and sacked by Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He was spun around and thrown to the turf. While on the ground, his hands froze in front of his face. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded on a backboard, stabilized and strapped to a stretcher after his facemask was removed.
Dolphins players gathered around as Tagovailoa was rolled off the field and the crowd chanted “Tua! Tua!.”
The 24-year-old Tagovailoa was suffering from a sore back and was listed as questionable for most of the week ahead of the game.
Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills after appearing to be disoriented by what the team originally said was a head injury after taking a hard hit took a hit from Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half. He missed just three snaps and returned after halftime, a decision that prompted a joint review by the NFL and National Football League Players Association of what went into the decision to allow him to return to the game.
The team and Tagovailoa said after the game the quarterback had a back injury that caused his awkward stumble and fall after he was slammed into the turf in the second quarter. The team said Monday that Tagovailoa was not in concussion protocol.
Miami originally said it was a head injury, but Tagovailoa said after the game that he hit his back on the fall.
Before leaving Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa was 8 for 14 for 100 yards and an interception. He was replaced in the game by Teddy Bridgewater, who threw a touchdown pass to Chase Edmonds with 15 seconds left in the half.