Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been placed in the NFL's concussion protocol for the second time this season, head coach Mike McDaniel announced during his press conference on Monday (December 26) via NFL.com.
Tagovailoa, who had previously missed Weeks 5-6 due to a concussion, was said to be feeling concussion-like symptoms following Sunday's (December 25) 26-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, according to McDaniel.
The coach said he was unsure when Tagovailoa experienced the potential concussion and clarified that it wasn't certain that the quarterback had indeed suffered a concussion, but that he was experiencing symptoms.
Video shared on social media showed Tagovailoa being hit from behind below the waste while completing a pass during the first half of Sunday's game and hitting the back of his head on the ground.
Tagovailoa threw for 229 yards and one touchdown on 9 of 12 passing during the first half. he then threw for 81 yards and three interceptions on 7 of 13 passing during the second half.
The former Alabama standout had previously been placed concussion protocol following the Dolphins' September 29 Thursday Night Football loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, which occurred less than a week after temporarily exiting the team's win against the Buffalo Bills on September 25 for what was initially reported to be a head injury.
Tagovailoa had reportedly consulted with four independent specialists, including a leading sports concussion neurologist and top neuropsychologist.
On September 27, the NFL confirmed it was reviewing whether Miami followed its league concussion protocol after Tagovailoa temporarily exited the team's win against the Buffalo Bills on September 25 for what was initially reported to be a head injury.
McDaniel had previously reiterated that an independent specialist evaluated Tagovailoa on Sunday and the team complied with the NFL's protocol during his postgame press conference.
"That's why the NFL has these protocols, and there's not like every single NFL game that is played," McDaniel said via NFL.com. "There's an independent specialist that specializes in specialty brain matter, so for me, as long as I'm coaching here, I'm not going to fudge that whole situation. If there's any sort of inclination that somebody has a concussion, they go into concussion protocol; it's very strict. People don't vary or stray; we don't mess with that, we never have as long as I've been head coach, so it'd never be an issue that you guys have to worry about."
On October 1, the NFL Players Association exercised its right to fire the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing Tagovailoa to return in Week 2, ESPN reported.
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