Thu, 01 Dec 2022

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel not interested in outside opinions

Field Level Media
06 Oct 2022, 06:55 GMT+10

Miami Dolphins first-year coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday that outside criticism of how he and the team handled the concussion situations involving quarterback Tua Tagovailoa aren't of any concern to him.

McDaniel said it if comes from outside the Dolphins' building, he isn't interested in wasting time listening to it.

"Everything's reactionary anyway," McDaniel said. "So if people want to (give opinions) -- if I'm listening to that, or thinking about that; if I'm spending time thinking about that, let's say Monday night for five seconds, that's five seconds that I'm not thinking about all the other things that relate to the team and the upcoming game."

Tagovailoa first was evaluated for a head injury during Miami's Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. He cleared concussion protocol and returned to the game, with the team saying he sustained injuries to his back and ankle.

Four nights later, he sustained a concussion in which his fingers twitched uncontrollably against the Cincinnati Bengals and was transported to a hospital. He was allowed to travel back home with the team after the contest.

The NFL Players Association wasn't impressed with the manner in which the Dolphins handled the concussion protocol and called for the situation to be reviewed. The NFLPA fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tagovailoa to return to the Bills' game, per reports.

Tagovailoa is around the team this week, according to McDaniel. He has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the New York Jets but McDaniel hasn't said whether the signal caller will travel for the game.

"So at this point in time, he's in the protocol, and it's all about the only thing it's about and that's the health of the human being," McDaniel said. "It's a change in routine for him, and he loves football and loves being around his teammates. So he will -- it's another example of us having to have honest and forthright communication with the medical staff. He'll be around as long as it doesn't adversely affect him as best possible.

"He's a captain of this team and we want him to be present as much as he can, but not at any sort of cost to his process, getting himself healthy, and going through that procedure."

McDaniel said the optics of the situation has nothing to do with Tagovailoa being ruled out for this week's game.

"The second I start doing things because I think it's some answer that somebody else wants, that's to me, that I'm failing at my job," McDaniel said. "My job starts and ends with what's the best thing for the team and everybody involved."

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and former NFL coach Rex Ryan were among the many people who criticized the handling of Tagovailoa, while prominent "concussion doctor" Bennet Omalu publicly urged Tagovailoa to retire from football.

Teddy Bridgewater will be Miami's starting quarterback while Tagovailoa is sidelined. Bridgewater passed for 193 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 27-15 loss to the Bengals.

Tagovailoa has passed for 1,035 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

--Field Level Media

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