Report: Tua was ‘walking’ and ‘smiling and talking’ in neck brace before traveling with team

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins got a positive update on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after he left Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with head and neck injuries.

Tagovailoa, who had to be stretchered off the field on Thursday, was outside of Miami’s locker room following the game with a neck brace on. He was also smiling and talking, which are positive signs considering how severe his injury appeared to be.

The Dolphins quarterback also traveled back with the team and appears to have avoided breaking anything after going down in Thursday’s game.

Tagovailoa took a sack in the Dolphins-Bengals matchup and was noticeably hurt, as he looked unable to move after having his head slammed into the ground.

It’s not the first time that Tagovailoa has been injured this season, as he briefly left the team’s game against the Buffalo Bills with a back injury and was also tested for a concussion.

While Tagovailoa apparently cleared concussion protocol and was allowed to return to Sunday’s game in Week 3, the NFLPA plans to investigate whether or not he should have been allowed to play on Thursday.

After taking a hit against Buffalo on Sunday, Tagovailoa was visibly shaken up and struggled to stay on his feet.

After the Week 3 game, he said that his back “locked” up on him, but others have speculated that he may have actually had a concussion or some form of head injury.

“Kind of got my legs caught under someone, and then they were trying to push back, and then it kind of felt like I hyperextended my back or something,” Tagovailoa said after Week 3.

“And then on the next play, I kind of hit my back and kind of hurt it, and then I got up, and then that’s kind of 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.”

Former NFL players such as Shannon Sharpe and Robert Griffin III both spoke out about the decision to allow Tagovailoa to play Thursday night.

At this point, the Dolphins have to do a better job protecting their franchise quarterback to make sure he doesn’t suffer a life-threatening injury. It’s at least a positive sign that he was able to walk around and speak after the scary incident on Thursday.

Tagovailoa has played well for the Dolphins this season, completing 69.6 percent of his passes for 1,035 yards and eight touchdowns. The Dolphins are currently 3-1, but it’s possible they’ll be without Tagovailoa for an extended period of time depending upon the severity of his injury.