Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagavailoa is carried off the field on a stretcher during the second quarter of his team’s game Thursday night at Paycor Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The third-year player was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game with head and neck injuries. The Amazon Prime Video broadcast said Tagavailoa was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Facilities.

“Tua Tagavailoa was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “He is conscious, all his limbs are moving.”

Tagovailoa, already playing through back and ankle injuries, was thrown to the turf on a sack by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou.

Tagovailoa landed on his sore back during a brutal blow and the back of his head hit the ground hard from the whip. Tagovailoa appeared to lie motionless as he was tended to on the field for several minutes before being taken away on a stretcher. He lay on the ground with his arm up and his left index finger stuck in an awkward inward position, as the game’s broadcast cameras caught it.

“We’ve all played a lot of football, but this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen,” said Amazon analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was Tagovailoa’s teammate during his rookie season in Miami in 2020. Fitzpatrick added that he spoke with Tagovailoa on Wednesday night and it was the happiest he had ever seen him.

Tagovailoa was questionable for Thursday’s game after he suffered back and ankle injuries in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills that forced him to leave the game and re-enter the game at Hard Rock Stadium. He was also initially believed to have suffered a head injury on Sunday, before it was revealed that he only had back and ankle problems.

Tagovailoa was 8 of 14 for 110 yards and had an interception at the time of the injury. He looked sharp on several throws over the middle to open receivers Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle. He made another nice throw to tight end Mike Gesicki between four zone defenders. Tagovailoa’s interception came on a deep throw to Hill.

Reserve Teddy Bridgewater replaced Tagovailoa for the Dolphins, who trailed 14-12 at halftime.

Bridgewater went 6 of 7 for 71 yards and a touchdown to end the first half. He led a 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a short shovel pass that Chase Edmonds took for a 7-yard score after several tackles. The extra point that was scored afterwards did not remain upright.

It brought the Dolphins closer to the Bengals after earlier giving up a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Burrow to receiver Ty Higgins, who beat Miami cornerback Xavien Howard on the play.

The night began with the Dolphins allowing the Bengals to score quickly on a 9-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 5-yard run by Joe Mixon, where several Cincinnati offensive linemen came to him to push him over the goal line after , as he was beaten up beyond the yardage to gain a first down. Cornerback Keyon Crossen, who made his first start for the Dolphins on Thursday, was hit with a critical unnecessary roughness penalty on the series that sent the Bengals into the red zone.

Miami, meanwhile, drove the length of the field but settled for a short field goal on its opening drive after Edmonds threw what would have been a touchdown in the back of the end zone. Tagovailoa was 4-of-6 for 64 yards on the opening drive, looking sharp early on with his first two throws to Hill and Waddle open up the middle for gains of 26 and 20 yards.

Tagovailoa, who had been in action for most of the first quarter, made his first mistake when he threw Hill against two defenders deep as Hill stepped on them. Bengals safety Von Bell intercepted a throw that ended up short and was caught late. Tagovailoa just made his spectacular 21-yard Hesicki toss between four defenders in the zone.

However, the Dolphins were safe and sound after the turnover when Eric Rowe made a big stop on fourth down against Mixon and Bengals coach Zach Taylor decided to go for it on fourth and 1, on the short side of the ball. field Dolphins sniffed. Miami kicked a field goal after turning Cincinnati over on a layup to cut its early deficit midway through the second quarter, 7-6.

After Thursday’s game, the Dolphins get an off-week that serves as a mini-bye week. They return in Week 5, at the New York Jets, on October 9.

This story will be updated.

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