Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered head and neck injuries after being sacked against the Cincinnati Bengals and was sent to the hospital after being stretched from the field on Thursday night. Tagovailoa had movement in all of his extremities and was conscious as he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further evaluation, according to the Associated Press. Following the game where the Dolphins lost to the Bengals 27-15, the Dolphins said Tagovailoa was expected to be released from the hospital and travel back to Miami with the team.
The incident happened in the second quarter when Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou sacked Tagovailoa and slammed him to the ground. As the Alabama alum was on the ground, his fingers froze in front of his face and remained down for more than seven minutes. As Tagovailola was being stretched from the field, his teammates gathered around him and the crowd chanted "Tua! Tua!"
Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa was taken off the field on a stretcher after being sacked in the second quarter vs. the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/zvTGQThsZe— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 30, 2022
"I could tell it wasn't the same guy that I was used to seeing," Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said, per ESPN. "It was a scary moment. He was evaluated for a concussion. He's in the concussion protocol, but he's being discharged. "It's an emotional moment. It's not a part of the deal you sign up for. His teammates and myself were very concerned, but he got checked out and it's nothing more serious than a concussion."
Tagovailoa's injury comes four days after he suffered what appeared to be a concussion in the team's win against the Buffalo Bills. He was evaluated for the injury during halftime after he hit his head and stumbled while trying to return to the huddle. The Dolphins first said he suffered a head injury and was questionable to return. But the team later said the 24-year-old had a back injury which is the reason he stumbled.
"Player health and safety is at the core 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 protocol violation is ongoing," the NFLPA said in a statement after Tagovailoa's injury on Thursday night. Tagovailoa was selected No. 5 overall by the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has played in 27 games with 25 starts and has posted a 16-9 record with a passer rating of 91.8.