Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off field Thursday with head, neck injury

The Dolphins quarterback was taken to a Cincinnati hospital for more evaluation

Tua Tagovailoa didn't last two quarters on Thursday night in Cincinnati, as the Dolphins quarterback was stretchered off the field in Miami's 27-15 loss to the Bengals.

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The injury took place with less than six minutes remaining in the first half, as Tagovailoa was sacked and slammed hard to the ground by Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou.

The Dolphins said Tagovailoa suffered a head and neck injury, and left Paycor Stadium in an ambulance, according to Amazon Prime sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung. In a tweet, the team said Tagovaila was conscious and had movement in all of his extremities, as he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center.

On the play, the former Alabama star's head snapped back with force on the field's artificial surface. His arms and hands immediately went tense, apparently in the so-called fencing position that often signifies head injury.

Tagovailoa's teammates huddled around him, many of them bowed in prayer, while he was taken off the field on a stretcher. Bengals fans chanted "Tu-a" while he was leaving the field.

Shortly after the game had ended, the Dolphins announced that Tagovailoa was expected to be discharged from the hospital, and was set to fly home with the team Thursday night.

The play was reminiscent of the one that briefly knocked Tagovailoa out of this past Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills in Miami. After that play, he stumbled to his feet and nearly collapsed before being held up by teammates.

After briefly exited the game for examination in the locker room, Tagovailoa was apparently given the OK and cleared to return to the game after halftime.

The NFL Players' Association said it was planning to initiate an investigation of Tagovailoa's injury in the Buffalo game. The NFL said it was confident the concussion protocol had been handled properly.

The third-year pro was questionable with back and ankle injuries heading into Thursday's game, but the injury report made no mention of a head injury or neck injury.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar - USA TODAY Sports