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Mike McDaniel defends decision to play Tua Tagovailoa after injury scare days earlier

Sep
30
9/30/2022 12:53:27 PM
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Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel firmly defended the team’s decision to play quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night that resulted in Tagovailoa getting carted away on a stretcher due to a concussion, among his head and neck injuries, David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

McDaniel was asked postgame if he would’ve done anything differently given what transpired with Tagovailoa, who officially entered Thursday questionable with back and ankle injuries.

“Absolutely not,” he replied swiftly and adamantly. “If I would have, that would be irresponsible in the first place, and I shouldn’t be in this position.

“I don’t believe an injury last [Sunday] made him fall the same way [Thursday]. I do not have any, like absolutely zero patience for — or will ever — put a player in a position for them to be in harm’s way. That is not what I’m about at all, and no outcome of a game would ever influence me being irresponsible as the head coach of a football team.”

McDaniel reasserted that Tagovailoa did not suffer a concussion or head injury when he exited Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, four days prior to the Thursday loss at Paycor Stadium.

“Yeah, otherwise we would’ve reported him having a head injury,” McDaniel said. “That’s why the NFL has these protocols. Every single NFL game that is played, there’s an independent specialist that specializes in the specialty of brain matter.

“For me, as long as I’m coaching here, I’m not going to fudge that whole situation. If there is any sort of inclination that someone has a concussion, they go into concussion protocol, and it’s very strict. People don’t vary or stray. We don’t mess with that. We never have. And as long as I’m the head coach, that will never be an issue that you guys have to worry about.”

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