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Dolphins decision to put Tua Tagovailoa back in game to be reviewed: reports


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The NFL and NFL Players Association will conduct a joint review of the Miami Dolphins’ decision to allow quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return to Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, according to multiple reports.

Tagovailoa left the game towards the end of the second quarter. He was struck on the back and appeared dazed when he stood up. He was initially diagnosed with a head injury and was doubtful of returning.

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is helped off the field during the first half against the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

But Tagovailoa told reporters he was suffering from a back injury. NFL Network reported that Tagovailoa underwent a “full concussion check” and cleared it.

“I kind of got my legs stuck under someone, and they were trying to push back, and I felt like I had hypertensed my back or something,” Tagovailoa said. “Then on the next play, I kind of hit my back, it hurt a little bit, and I got up, and that’s why I tripped – my back sort of went wrong. so locked up on me.”

DOLPHINS’ TUA TAGOVAILOA APPEARS WOOZY AFTER TAKEN HIT, BRIEFLY LEAVES GAME WITH HEAD INJURY

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa walks off the field after suffering an injury in the first half against the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa walks off the field after suffering an injury in the first half against the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

In-game assessments when concussions are suspected involve team medical staff as well as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant.

“I was kind of with everyone. When he hit his head on the ground, I assumed it was a head injury,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. “But his legs got wobbly because his lower back was completely loose. And as he described it, he said his lower back looked like Gumby or something.”

Tagovailoa said he “passed the concussion protocol they had.”

He returned to action in the second half and led the Dolphins to a victory over the Bills, 21-19.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa speaks during a postgame press conference following a victory over the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa speaks during a postgame press conference following a victory over the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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Tagovailoa finished the game with 186 yards on 13 of 18 passes with one touchdown and no interceptions thrown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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