The Dolphins-Bengals matchup on Thursday Night Football took a disturbing turn when Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field with an apparent concussion -- his second in four days.
Tagovailoa had exited Sunday's win over the Bills in Miami after the back of his head hit hard on the turf at Hard Rock Stadium. The third-year pro looked wobbly while getting back up to his feet, though he later returned to the game after purportedly clearing concussion protocol.
Afterward, the NFLPA said it was planning to investigate the handling of Tua's apparent concussion, but the NFL said it was confident the protocol procedures were carried out properly.
Meanwhile Tua was listed as questionable for Thursday's game in Cincinnati with ankle and back injuries -- with no mention of his apparent concussion -- but reports throughout the week had suggested he was likely to start.
When it became apparent by Thursday afternoon that Tua would in fact start, a few users on social media voiced their concerns. Their worst fears were realized late in the second quarter on Thursday night, when the former Alabama star was spun around and slammed to the ground on a sack, with the back of his head smacking the artificial surface at Paycor Stadium in a way that was reminiscent to the play in Week 3.
The former No. 5 overall draft pick was unable to get up and appeared to be in the so-called "fencing response," usually a sign of head injury. He was carted off the field and taken to a hospital. The Dolphins said he was conscious and had full motion in his extremities.
The scary scene prompted immediate backlash on social media, where journalists, athletes and fans alike questioned the NFL's and Dolphins' handling of Tua's concussions: