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The NFL and NFL Players Association will conduct a joint review of the Miami Dolphins’ decision to allow quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, according to multiple reports.
Tagovailoa left the game late in the second quarter. He was hit in the back and appeared to be dazed when he got up. He was first diagnosed with a head injury and was questionable to return.
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But Tagovailoa told reporters he was dealing with a back injury. NFL Network reported that Tagovailoa went through a “full concussion review” and was cleared.
“I got my legs under somebody, and they were trying to pull back, and it felt like I hyperextended my back or something,” Tagovailoa said. “Then on the next play, I hit my back, it hurt, and I got up, and that’s why I tripped, my back locked up.”
DOLPHINS TUA TAGOVAILOA APPEARS AFTER TAKING A HIT, LEAVES BRIEFLY WITH HEAD INJURY
In-game evaluations when concussions are suspected involve team medical personnel as well as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant.
“He was kind of with everybody else. When he hit his head on the ground, I assumed it was a head injury,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. “But his legs wobbled because his lower back was completely loose. And the way he described it, he said his lower back was like Gumby or something.”
Tagovailoa said he “approved whatever concussion protocol they had.”
He returned to the game in the second half and led the Dolphins to a 21-19 victory over the Bills.
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Tagovailoa finished the game with 186 yards on 13-of-18 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions thrown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.