Miami Dolphins say QB Tua Tagovailoa is ruled out for Week 5 game against New York Jets

MIAMI — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets as he continues to progress through the concussion protocol, coach Mike McDaniel said Monday.

There is no “definite timeline” for Tagovailoa’s return after he left the Dolphins’ 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. Teddy Bridgewater will start Sunday in his place.

Tagovailoa was taken to a local hospital after his head hit the turf late in the second half of Thursday’s game in Cincinnati. He was diagnosed with a concussion, but he was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and was allowed to fly home with the team Friday morning. McDaniel said Tagovailoa’s scans came back “clean,” including the MRI he underwent in Miami, but it’s still too early to start thinking about his return to the field.

“He’s in the building right now. He’s had a couple of good days, but he’s just trying to follow proper procedure and protocol to feel 100 percent,” McDaniel said. “I know she’s going to be diligent about that. And if there are obviously things that are giving her trouble in terms of light and stuff, then we’ll shut that down.”

Tagovailoa was evaluated for a concussion after a similar situation during the Dolphins’ game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. He hit the back of his head on the ground and tripped while trying to return to the huddle after the play. He was immediately taken to the locker room with a head injury, the team announced at the time.

However, he passed the locker room evaluation and returned to finish the game after halftime with Tagovailoa and the Dolphins clarifying that his stumble was caused by a back injury he sustained earlier in the game. NFL medical director Dr. Allen Sills said Tagovailoa was evaluated daily before Thursday’s game, and McDaniel said an independent neurologist cleared his quarterback of any head injuries.

The NFL Players Association initiated its right to request a review of the NFL’s concussion protocol following his rapid return to play and fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who initially evaluated Tagovailoa during the Bills game. The NFL and NFLPA also committed to modifying the concussion protocol based on what both sides learned during the review. McDaniel said he supports the protocol changes and reiterated his confidence in how Tagovailoa’s injury was handled during the week.

McDaniel said he was not directly involved in Tagovailoa’s evaluation process and that beyond making sure his players’ best interests are taken into account, he generally does not interfere in matters that are outside his area of ​​expertise.

“I’m very involved in terms of that, being responsive and giving me information. I don’t think I should be involved in determining concussion symptoms outside of the obvious,” he said. “One thing that we operate within this organization is that they know, first and foremost, that the health and safety of the players is above all else. The coaches know that this is how we approach things and the players know that too. And being that additional voice of reason that says, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to push something with unintended consequences for the player,’ I’ll always stay involved that way from an executor point of view.

“But in terms of getting in the way of an opinion that we have educated people and years and years of experience, I think it would be a little irresponsible if I tried to kick in the door and say my article as a layman who is not an expert.”

Behind Bridgewater, the Dolphins have 2022 seventh-round draft pick Skylar Thompson and signed Reid Sinnett, who spent the 2021 season with the Dolphins, to their practice squad Monday afternoon.

A former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick in 2014, Bridgewater also spent time with the Jets, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos before signing with Miami this offseason. He has won both games he has played against the Jets in his career, completing 38 of 52 passes for 544 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

McDaniel expressed his confidence in Bridgewater as the team’s starter for the duration of this term.

“We have a lot, a lot of confidence in Teddy Bridgewater. It’s one of the reasons you decide to go in that direction in an offseason and prioritize your backup quarterback right now,” McDaniel said. “We went out and signed him, and it’s been one of the best things that could have happened to us because of the dynamics of the team, because of his contribution in the way Tua plays and his ability to play, as well as his part in developing From Skylar.

“So he’s had a big role. Everybody trusts him a lot. He’s done it before; it’s different coming off the bench than starting. Teddy knows that and he’s going to be fully prepared and ready to go. I don’t think the team will be surprised when we tie them up.” on Sunday”.

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