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CNN

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is “in good spirits” Friday after suffered a concussion in Thursday night’s game, head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters.

The NFL and the Dolphins are under scrutiny for the decision to allow Tagovailoa to play Thursday, after the quarterback was injured in a game last Sunday. McDaniel said he is currently focused on Tagovailoa’s health and is not thinking of a timeline for his return to the field.

“(He’s) someone I grew up very, very close to,” McDaniel said. “When it comes to head injuries and concussions, with such serious things, the only thing I worry about is people first.”

The NFL is reviewing the decision to allow Tagovailoa to play and “will speak with everyone involved,” its chief medical officer told CNN on Friday.

“Whenever we have a situation like this, we come back to do a thorough review of everything associated with the situation, and we come back to watch the video and the medical reports,” Dr. Allan Sills told the CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Friday.

“The NFL, the NFL Players Association and the medical leadership will speak with everyone involved, which means the team athletic trainer, the team doctor, the independent neuro expert, the observer in the stand and the neuro operator. in the cabin, and the patient himself – and so this is all going on.

Tagovailoa was sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou in the second quarter and was motionless on the field for several minutes. The entire Dolphins sideline walked on the field while he was placed on a backboard and a stretcher. Bengals fans at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati showed their respect as Tagovailoa was ejected from the field.

The video showed Tagovailoa’s forearms flexed and his fingers twisted – a sign that Gupta, a neurosurgeon, says is a “fencing response” and may be linked to brain damage. Gupta asked Sills, also a neurosurgeon, how worried he was after seeing this video.

“Well, of course, I’m concerned like you as a neurosurgeon, and anyone with a significant injury and neurological signs like that,” Sills said. “The immediate concern is… to ensure that at the time we are doing everything we can to provide the most expert and timely care… securing the airway, ensuring there is no spinal injury, etc.

“I am concerned about this injury and all injuries.”

Sills noted that the NFL will “carefully review all of the steps that led to the sequence of events that you described.”

“We will be transparent about the outcome of this,” Sills said.

McDaniel said Tagovailoa had an MRI on Friday, but only as a precaution after CT scans and X-rays were taken after the quarterback was taken off the field on a stretcher. The MRI results have not been released.

The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious after the injury and had movement in all of his extremities. He was evaluated at a local hospital before being released to return to Miami with the team on Thursday.

McDaniel, a first-year NFL coach, was asked if he would have handled the Tagovailoa situation differently after the quarterback reportedly injured his head and neck in Sunday’s game against the New York Bills. Buffalo.

“He was assessed (for a head injury) and cleared after multiple layers of medical professionals, of which I don’t claim to be one,” the coach said. “These people, the collection of them, rid him of any head injuries. He had a back and ankle problem.

“In terms of deciding not to face a guy in a Thursday night game, I’m concerned about his lower back and his ankle and putting him at risk,” McDaniel added. “I have 100 per cent belief in our process. … I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had prematurely put someone there and put them in danger.

Tagovailoa was joking and happy to be on the plane with his teammates on the trip home from Cincinnati after the loss, McDaniel said.

He sat next to his head coach and even started performing one of McDaniel’s favorite comedy movies, “MacGruber.”

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