NFL

'We've got a lot of people who care' – Wilkins confident in Dolphins' protocols after Tagovailoa concussion

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

Christian Wilkins is content with the level of care shown by the Miami Dolphins' staff after the team was heavily criticised following Tua Tagovailoa's head injury.

Tagovailoa has been ruled out of the Dolphins' game against the New York Jets in Week 5 after sustaining a concussion in last Thursday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Dolphins have come under scrutiny for allowing the quarterback to feature in that game after he suffered a head injury in week three against the Buffalo Bills.

In that game, Tagovailoa missed just three snaps after his helmet slammed into the turf following a tackle from Matt Milano, despite appearing groggy and losing his balance in the aftermath of the incident.

While Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has insisted concussion protocols were followed correctly, the NFL and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) conducted a joint review of how the decision was made to allow Tagovailoa to return against the Bengals.

Asked whether he felt the Dolphins demonstrated a duty of care towards their players, defensive tackle Wilkins said: "Oh, absolutely, yeah. We've got a great training staff. 

"We've got great coaches, people who care about the players on this team, and our health and safety, our personal lives, all that stuff. 

"This is our home away from home, so we've got a lot of people who care and it's bigger than just football around here and winning games.

"There's a process to how things need to be handled and need to be done, and there's protocols in place for a reason – to protect the players."

With Teddy Bridgewater set to replace Tagovailoa against the Jets, Wilkins said the Dolphins' "next man up mentality" will help them cope without their starting QB.

"That's obviously tough to see and tough to deal with, but we all had each other's backs. We all had Tua's back and just wishing him well," he added.

"A lot of guys were praying for him and things like that, obviously. He's better now, so we're all happy for that and that he’s feeling better and that he's himself and he's around here. 

"He's being himself and Tua and bringing great energy. So that's obviously the most important thing.

"Tua is a heck of a player. He's a big part of our team and obviously a great leader and a great team-mate. But fortunately for us, we have a lot of great players, a lot of good team-mates. 

"Other guys have just got to step up, other guys got to do their job, and we'll be just fine from that standpoint. 

"We're definitely going to have to come together as a team and just do our jobs, do what we do. It's the next man up mentality and we'll just handle our business."

Related items

  • Mac Jones says emotion got the better of him in Patriots' loss to the Bills Mac Jones says emotion got the better of him in Patriots' loss to the Bills

    Mac Jones said he let emotions get the better of him but was not aiming his frustration at anyone in particular in the New England Patriots' 24-10 defeat to the Buffalo Bills.

    After a promising rookie season in 2021, quarterback Jones and the offense in general has struggled for a Patriots side who are now 6-6 and facing a struggle to make the playoffs.

    During the game, Jones appeared to be caught saying "throw the f*****g ball! The quick game sucks!" during the broadcast of the game on Amazon Prime Video.

    "Obviously, I just kind of let my emotions get to me," Jones said. "What I said was about throwing it deeper within the short game. I got to execute that part better. 

    "But it's the short game that we kept going to, which is working. But I felt like we needed chunk plays. I shouted that out to kind of get everyone going. That's emotional. That's football. I'm passionate about this game.

    "Obviously, you don't want to let your emotions get the best of you. I think that's pretty much it. It wasn't directed at anybody. Just emotion coming out. We kind of needed a spark."

    Jones added that the coaching team, including Matt Patricia who makes the calls in the plays to him, were aligned with his thinking.

    "It was just [saying], 'let's go for it, let's be aggressive, let's take those shots. Just go down fighting,'" Jones added.

    "Matty P was on the same page. We kind of did it there at the end and moved it a little bit more."

    Jones was 22-of-36 for 195 yards and a touchdown against the Bills.

    Overall the Patriots rank 31st for time in the red zone, 25th for third-down conversion, and 27th for first downs gained per game this season.

    "When you're playing from behind against a pretty good team and a good offense, you need to go out there and make better plays," Jones said. 

    "That starts with me. Definitely wasn't good enough by me. I didn't do a good enough job of getting ahead early, making it work. It's tough to watch the defense play a great game, not being able to give them anything back."

  • 'We're not blinking' - Josh Allen has the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills playing with 'urgency' 'We're not blinking' - Josh Allen has the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills playing with 'urgency'

    Josh Allen told reporters after Thursday's 24-10 win against the New England Patriots that this year's Buffalo Bills are playing with an added 'sense of urgency' after narrowly missing out on last year's AFC Championship game.

    The Bills were too strong for the Patriots, allowing no touchdowns after the first quarter in what turned into a relatively smooth outing on the road in Foxborough.

    With the win, the Bills improved their record to an AFC East-leading 9-3, while the 8-3 Miami Dolphins will get a chance to join them if they can defeat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

    Despite their strong record, it was only their first win against a divisional opponent this season after previous losses to the Dolphins and New York Jets.

    Following three consecutive games away from home, the Bills will now host both the Jets and the Dolphins in back-to-back fixtures, and Allen said the whole squad is itching to get back to Buffalo.

    "It's going to be awesome," he said. "We missed out on a home game because we had to leave [due to a snowstorm in Week 11], so I know Bills mafia is chomping at the bit to get back in the stadium with us.

    "We're going to need them, this stretch that we've got coming up, we understand it means a lot moving forward. We’ve got to find ways to go win some football games."

    He went on to talk about how the Bills are no longer content just being a playoff team, and with the roster they have, they know this season is a golden opportunity to bring home the franchise's first ever Super Bowl.

    "I think [what's different] is the sense of urgency we have," he said. "We're 9-3, and everything we want is in front of us.

    "Every time we step out onto the field we're trying to be the best version of ourselves, and coach McDermott does a great job of letting us be ourselves.

    "We've got a great locker room, guys with a lot of leadership, there's been no panic. Von [Miller] says it all the time – we're not blinking.

    "We're just trying to find ways to win football games, no matter what it takes to win a game, that's what we're trying to do." 

    The former MVP favourite is no longer considered one of the top contenders for the league's most prestigious individual honour after a month-long battle with a lingering elbow injury, but he is not using it as an excuse.

    "A lot of time in the training room making sure I'm ready to go, but come game time, that goes to the back of my mind," he said.

    "I'm just focused on trying to make plays for this team, whichever way that I can, whether it's running or throwing, and getting it to our guys on the outside.

    "We've got some of the best guys in the league, and the more times we can get them the ball, the better it's going to be for us.

    "I appreciate who we have in our training room, they've done a tremendous job… they really put in a lot of hours."

    With one more win this season, the Bills will have posted four consecutive campaigns of at least 10 victories. The only other time in franchise history that has occurred was from 1990-1993, where they lost four Super Bowls in a row.

  • Josh Allen's Bills brush off early scare, dominate the Patriots 24-10 Josh Allen's Bills brush off early scare, dominate the Patriots 24-10

    The Buffalo Bills were not rattled by an early explosive touchdown, going on to ultimately dominate the New England Patriots 24-10 in Thursday's AFC East showdown.

    New England threatened to put up a strong fight against one of the Super Bowl favourites, jumping ahead 7-3 in the first quarter after rookie Marcus Jones took a wide receiver screen 48 yards to the house. 

    It was just Jones' first offensive snap of his career, with the former college cornerback making a name for himself after his game-winning punt return touchdown against the New York Jets in Week 11.

    But that would be the only points the Patriots would put on the board until a consolation field goal with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

    The middle stages of the contest were entirely one-sided, with Josh Allen connecting on two touchdown passes in the second period to jump out to a 17-7 halftime lead, never looking back.

    Allen's first touchdown was a simple one from the eight-yard line, identifying top receiver Stefon Diggs in man coverage before finding him in the back corner of the endzone. 

    His second was more spectacular, as he left his feet for a jump-pass near the sideline, rifling it back across his body to find Gabriel Davis for another eight-yard touchdown.

    Allen completed 22 of his 33 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, with his only turnovers coming from a strip-sack by Josh Uche. Diggs caught seven of his nine targets for 92 yards and a score, while Devin Singletary carried 13 times for 51 yards and the game's final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

    Buffalo are now 9-3, which their division rivals the Miami Dolphins can match with a win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.