Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa says he lost consciousness after being hit

MIAMI – Speaking Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion on September 29, the Miami Dolphins midfielder Tua Tagoviloa He said he remembers most of that night but lost consciousness after an injury that sent him to the hospital.

He suffered a concussion in Miami’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4 when he hit his head on the ground while trying to extend a play, and was briefly hospitalized before being discharged and returning to Florida with the team after the game.

Tagoviloa said he doesn’t remember what happened immediately after he hit his head on the ground and lost consciousness, but he does remember being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center via an ambulance, as well as his trip to Miami with his teammates early the next morning. .

“I wouldn’t say it was scary for me at the time because there was a point where I was unconscious so I couldn’t make out what was going on,” he said. “When I came in and kind of realized what was going on and what was going on, I didn’t think of anything long-term or short-term. I was just wondering what had happened.”

On Monday, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said it’s in the nature of the competitive quarterback to try to extend playing time – but he spoke with Tagovailoa about figuring out when it’s time to concede and throw the ball away.

Tagoviloa said that although his thinking has always been to achieve something when he’s on the field, he’ll have to know when to accept that the play is dead.

“Throwing the ball away wasn’t something I did in the past really well,” he said. “Because I try to make the plays, so I just learn from that – if he’s not there, it’s OK to get rid of him. It’s my whole life just to be the midfielder for this team and not try to do something out of nothing.

“Plays will come to us, and that’s kind of our motto for our crime.”

Tagoviloa said the support he has received since the concussion is what distinguishes him most from the events of the past few weeks.

In addition to messages and tweets from fellow players across the league, Tagovailoa said his neighbors brought in baked goods, candy, notes and artwork from their children — all of which, he said, made him and his family feel supported by his community.

But what made nearly two weeks away from football difficult was he had to stand idly by as the Dolphins slipped to three games in a row in his absence. Tagovailoa was present throughout the facility while on concussion protocol and sought help however he could. But it was frustrating not being able to help out in the field.

“There are things you can do in the dressing room to cheer the players, to keep the players motivated,” he said. “But it’s bad. As a competitor, I want to be there with the guys. I want to be able to get out there and help our guys win games. And that’s a terrible feeling that I can only watch from the sidelines.”

Tagoviloa removed the concussion protocol on Saturday, although he was not active in the Dolphins’ game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. He is preparing to be the team’s starter this week in Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tagovailoa, the QBR NFL leader at the time of his fourth-week injury, said the process of returning to the field had been “extremely stressful,” including his interviews with the NFL and the NFL as part of their joint investigation into how his condition was. dealing with it.

The Dolphins experienced a sharp decline in their attacking proficiency without Tagovailoa on the field. During the first three weeks of the season, they ranked first and second in the league in points per lead and projected attacking points added, respectively. In the time since, they have fallen to 28th in offensive EPA and 29th in points per lead.

It’s a situation similar to what Tagoviloa faced last season, when he returned from a rib injury to a team in four straight games. He said that the experience taught him not to stress out on his return and that he was not solely responsible for the dolphins’ success.

“I just have to be myself – I’m not the savior of this team,” he said. “I don’t just turn up and start winning matches. It’s a group deal. The defense stops us, the attack goes away and you put points on the board and the defense can help put points on the board as well as the special teams. For me, I’m looking at it as coming this week and I’m on Just my nature. Don’t try to force anything. Don’t try to make plays that don’t exist – just give the playmakers the ball and let them go to work.”

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