John Harbaugh did not mince words when he was asked to offer his thoughts regarding Tua Tagovailoa's scary situation on Thursday night. The Dolphins quarterback was carted off the field after suffering head and neck injuries, less than a week after he briefly exited Miami's win over Buffalo after sustaining an injury.
The Ravens coach clearly feels that Tagovailoa should not have been put in harms way on Thursday night. The NFL and the NFLPA have launched investigations into the Dolphins' handling of the situation.
"I couldn't believe what I saw last night," Harbaugh said, via ESPN's Kimberly A. Martin. "I couldn't believe what I saw last Sunday. It was just something that was just astonishing to see. I've been coaching for 40 years ... never seen anything like it before. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing."
Tagovailoa's health has been a largely discussed topic since last Sunday. During that game, Tagovailoa was seen falling to the ground after suffering a big hit near the end of the first half. He returned to the game shortly thereafter after the Dolphins announced that he had suffered a head injury. After the game, the Dolphins said that Tagovailoa had instead sustained injuries to his back and ankle.
Despite his condition, Tagovailoa was cleared to play in Thursday night's game. Afterward, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel fielded questions about his and the Dolphins' handing of Tagovailoa.
"That would be irresponsible in the first place, and I shouldn't be in this position," McDaniel said when asked if he could have done more regarding Tagovailoa's injury situation, via The Athletic. "I do not have any — absolutely zero — patience for, or will ever put a player in position for them to be in harm's way. That is not what I'm about at all, and no outcome of a game will ever influence me being irresponsible as the head coach of the football team."
Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer, told the NFL on Friday that Tagovailoa was checked for concussion symptoms every day since this past Sunday. Tagovailoa flew home with his teammates on Thursday night after being discharged from a Cincinnati-area hospital. All initial scans involving Tagovailoa's injuries were negative with nothing broken, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson.
A full release of the NFL's review of the situation will be available to the public once completed, according to Sills.
"We want to be as transparent as possible," Sills said.