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Ravens’ Harbaugh ‘Couldn’t Believe’ Tagovailoa’s Injury Situation

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was tuned in for the Dolphins’ game against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football.

However, like fans sitting inside Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium and those watching at home from afar, when Harbaugh watched Tagovailoa’s head hit the ground during a tackle made by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou, he could not believe what he saw. Furthermore, Harbaugh could not fathom Tagovailoa’s reaction from Miami’s game against the Bills on Sunday, one in which the Dolphins signal caller left the game before returning after he cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol.

“It was just something that was astonishing to see,” Harbaugh told reporters on Friday. “I’ve been coaching [college and NFL] for almost 40 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. … I really couldn’t believe it was something that I was seeing.“

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As Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field with head and neck injuries during Miami’s 27–15 loss to the Bengals, Harbaugh believes there comes a time where coaches must make the difficult decision to tell players “no” they can’t play after a vicious hit or anything that puts a player’s health in harm’s way. “Sometimes, you just have to tell them, ’No.’ … No has to be the answer,” he added.

Harbaugh referenced the concussion of Ravens wide receiver Devin Duvernay, who scored three touchdowns in the first two games of the season, suffered after being hit in the helmet after a 16-yard completion in the fourth quarter of Baltimore’s 42–38 loss to the Dolphins in Week 2. While Duvernay did not have many symptoms, he was “out” from the game and most of the week until Sept. 23 when he was cleared leading up to Ravens’ game on the road against the Patriots on Sunday.

“I think that’s the approach you take,” Harbaugh said. “Then sometimes, guys might be there physically where they’re sound, but they are not confident yet. You don’t put them out there until they’re ready in their minds. The game is too hard. The game is too tough for a player not to go out there who is confident in his own ability to protect himself and play well.”

A day after the horrific injury, Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol but released a statement saying that he was “feeling much better” and focused on recovering to get back on the field with his teammates.

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