OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Like almost everyone else that witnessed the incident, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was astonished by the injury to Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa suffered a concussion, and head and neck injuries after being slammed to the turf by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou.
Tagovailoa was on the turf for several minutes before being taken off and taken to a local hospital.
There are questions as to why Tagovailoa was even playing just four days after he stumbled off the field and was unable to walk following a hit to his head against the Buffalo Bills.
"I just, like probably most people, I couldn’t believe what I saw last night; I couldn’t believe what I saw last Sunday," Harbaugh said. "It was just something that was astonishing to see. I’ve been coaching for 40 years now in college and the NFL – almost 40, not quite – and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It just was really something that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. So, I really appreciate our doctors, I appreciate our owner, I appreciate our general manager from the standpoint that there are two things that you have to keep in mind; one of them is the player’s … A lot of times, players want to play. They want to go out there, and they want to play, and sometimes you just have to tell them, ‘No.’ You have to say, ‘No.’"
The Ravens pride themselves in being extra careful with concessions.
Wide receiver/returner Devin Duvernay had concussion symptoms after being hit in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens held him out of the game and practice until they felt he was fully ready to play.
"We had Devin Duvernay a couple of weeks ago with his situation, and he didn’t really have much in terms of symptoms and stuff like that, but he was out," Harbaugh said. "He was out for the game, and he was out for most of the week. He never had a symptom, and he didn’t practice the whole week until Friday, I think, when he was finally cleared. I think that’s the approach you take. Sometimes, guys might be there physically where they’re sound, but they’re not confident yet. They’re not quite there yet, and we’ve had this year. So, we’ve had both those situations this year. You don’t put them out there until they’re ready, 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’s confident in his own ability to protect himself and play well. So, I just appreciate our docs, I think they would probably call themselves conservative, but that’s what they should be. The other part of it, that last night, was not something you want to see.”