MIAMI – Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is not ignoring the criticism surrounding how the quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was handled following an apparent head injury against the Bills on September 25; he is aware of what people’s opinions are.
But he says he’s not thinking about them.
Speaking to local media Wednesday, McDaniel said any skepticism about whether he or the Dolphins were negligent in allowing Tagovailoa to play against the Cincinnati Bengals four days after suffering the apparent head injury against the Bills would “fall apart.” ” if it came from the people you are serving. Anything outside of the Dolphins building, he said, is also outside of his control.
“Everything is reactionary anyway,” he said. So if people want [give their opinion], whatever. … If I spend time thinking about that, let’s say Monday night for five seconds, that’s five seconds where I’m not thinking about all the other things related to the team and the next game.
“I have too much respect for the game, for everyone involved, for everyone who counts on me, I mean, I’m actually the anti-TO [Terrell Owens]. You know, ‘talk good about me, talk bad about me, just talk about me’. It would be nice if no one talked about anything. That’s how I’ve been operating my entire career. But [I’m] expecting them to have all kinds of opinions because that’s the nature of the beast, that’s what happens when you look at it and you’re a fan of it your whole life. You see it happen over and over again, and I guess nothing on that avenue would really surprise me.”
Tagovailoa was evaluated for a head injury during halftime of Miami’s win over the Bills in Week 5, after hitting his head on the ground and tripping on his way back to the group. He passed concussion protocol and returned to the game, with both he and the team claiming it was a back injury he sustained earlier in the game that caused him to stumble.
He continued to pass concussion evaluation during the week leading up to Thursday’s game and was cleared to play, but suffered a concussion shortly before halftime that required a brief hospital stay. Tagovailoa was released and was allowed to return to Miami with the team on Friday morning.
The NFLPA exercised its right to initiate a review of the NFL’s concussion protocol following Tagovailoa’s quick return to the field and terminated the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who conducted his initial evaluation after determining he made “several errors” in his evaluation. sources told ESPN.
Multiple sources told ESPN that Tagovailoa’s management review could be completed by Thursday.
The reaction to Tagovailoa’s injury and handling drew countless responses on social media and even from other NFL coaches. Speaking the day after Tagovailoa suffered a concussion against the Bengals, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was “astonished” by what he had seen the night before.
“I’ve been coaching for 40 years in college and in the NFL. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Harbaugh said. “I really appreciate our doctors, I appreciate our owner, I appreciate our general manager from the point of view that there are two things that you have to take into account: one of them is that the players want to play a long time. Sometimes, you just have Saying they don’t doesn’t have to be the answer.
“Sometimes guys can be there physically where they’re healthy, but they’re not confident yet, they’re not there yet, and we’ve had that this year. We’ve had both situations this year. You don’t take them out until they’re ready.”
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick told radio station WEEI that he “definitely” ruled out players who appeared unable to play, even though medical personnel cleared them.
The Dolphins beat the Patriots and Ravens in their first two games of the 2022 season.
McDaniel has insisted that Tagovailoa was cleared by an independent neurologist and that he personally interacted with him throughout the week, seeing no signs of a head injury.
“I’m in constant communication with this guy day in and day out,” McDaniel said. “We’re talking high-level football conversations about progressions and defenses and remembering things from two weeks before and then having to reiterate a 15-word game call. All the stuff, absolutely no sign. No medical indication, all resources , that there was nothing regarding the head.
“Other than an eye test, which I know for a fact that you guys wouldn’t feel very comfortable if I just relied on that, I mean, it’s the reason we have tests,” McDaniel added. “He didn’t have a head injury. So guys hit their heads all the time, and that’s why I stood my ground. [that] they evaluated him for having a blow to the head, and he didn’t. And when I tell you he was in complete mental concert, talking us through it, and then he played the whole game and then he did a press conference and then he was with the media all week.”
The Dolphins ruled out Tagovailoa for their Week 5 game against the New York Jets, naming teddy bridgewater starter until Tagovailoa can return. McDaniel repeatedly said there is no timetable for Tagovailoa as he remains in concussion protocol.