A serious injury to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa overshadowed the Miami Dolphins’ game at the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday (local time). The game guard was knocked down in the second quarter and hit his head hard on the field. He was treated for minutes and then carried off the field on a stretcher.

The Dolphins announced a few minutes later that the 24-year-old could not continue the game due to “head and neck injuries”. “Tua Tagovailoa was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. He’s conscious and can move all of his limbs.” After the game, the team announced that Tagovailoa would be discharged from the hospital and flown back to Miami with the team.

“I knew right away that he wasn’t the same. It was a scary moment,” said head coach Mike McDaniel. With substitute quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, his team conceded their first defeat in the fourth game of the season (15:27).

Tagovailoa looked ailing in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. After a nudge, he also stretched his head backwards when he served. When he got back up against the Bills, he seemed very unsteady on his feet, buckled after the first few steps and was supported by teammates. After an examination, however, he continued to play in the second half. After the game there was talk of a back injury, a concussion was ruled out.

This causes discussions in the environment of the NFL. The players’ union NFLPA announced the investigation into a “possible violation of protocol”. “The health and safety of players is central to the union’s mission. Our concern tonight is with Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.”

Dolphins coach McDaniel denied the allegations. He knew with 100 percent certainty that Tagovailoa had not suffered a concussion and referred to an examination by an independent neurologist.