Mike McDaniel offers mixed update on Tua Tagovailoa, uncertain if he will play vs. Bengals

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

During the Miami Dolphins’ impressive Week 3 win over the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa showed some scary signs that left many believing that he had suffered a head injury.

Footage of the quarterback stumbling while trying to walk had many concerned. Though he eventually returned to the game and helped lead the team to a big win, there were some who felt that Tagovailoa should have never been let back on the field.

In the end, it was revealed that Tagovailoa had in fact suffered a back injury and cleared concussion protocols. Following the game, Tagovailoa himself explained how his back injury led to the worrisome stumbling on the field.

“Kind of get my legs caught under someone,” Tagovailoa said. “They were trying to push back, and it kind of felt like I hyperextended my back or something.

“And then on the next play, I kind of hit my back and kind of hurt it. Then I got up and that’s why I stumbled. My back kind of locked up on me. But for the most part, I’m good. Passed whatever concussion protocol they had, so I’m good.”

Despite the good news that Tagovailoa did not suffer a concussion, it appears as though his status for the team’s Thursday night game versus the Cincinnati Bengals is in question. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel touched on his status on Monday.

From McDaniel’s words, it seems likely that Tagovailoa will be good to go, but nothing will be certain until later in the week.

Luckily, the Dolphins have arguably the best backup quarterback in the league in Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater started all 14 games that he played in last season and finished with 3,052 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Though Dolphins fans surely want Tagovailoa behind center, having Bridgewater as a backup plan is still a fantastic luxury.

In fact, there were many that believed Bridgewater was signed by the team as a contingency plan in case Tagovailoa did not show improvement early in the 2022 season.

So far, those concerns have been far from realized, and Tagovailoa is off to the hottest start of his NFL career this season.

In three games this season, he’s thrown for 925 yards and eight touchdowns while completing 71.3 percent of his passes. He’s already got half as many touchdown passes as he logged in 13 total appearances last season.

Most importantly, his Dolphins are 3-0 and currently atop the entire AFC. A win against the defending AFC champion Bengals on Thursday night would be a fantastic way for the Dolphins to round out the first month of the season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NFL. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Dolphin Nation.