NFL

Dolphins' Phillips describes 'complicated' injury situation following Tagovailoa concussion

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips has described the controversy surrounding Tua Tagovailoa's concussion as "complicated" following fierce criticism of the team.

Dolphins quarterback Tagovailoa sustained a concussion in Thursday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, ruling him out of week five's meeting with the New York Jets.

Tagovailoa also suffered a head injury when he took a heavy fall following a challenge from Matt Milano in week three, but only missed three snaps against the Buffalo Bills despite appearing unsteady on his feet after the incident.

The Dolphins have faced scrutiny for allowing Tagovailoa to return in that game, although defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has since defended the team's practices. 

Phillips joined Wilkins in preaching caution when discussing the NFL's concussion protocols, but said injury concerns were not always "black and white". 

"It's always better to be overcautious when it comes to head injuries," he said.

"I also think that you've got to take the players' and training staff and doctors' words for it. So it's obviously a complicated situation. 

"I think that the league and the PA [National Football League Players Association] doing everything they can to keep us safe is in the best interest, for sure."

Asked about the risks of concussion in football, Phillips added: "It's an assumed risk. It's obviously something that is prevalent in the game, not just with head injuries, but just injuries all around. I think that's kind of what we sign up for.

"Ultimately, it happens. At that point, you just pray for a speedy recovery. But I feel like that's what we signed up for playing this game. 

"It's a violent game. We all know that. We wouldn't play it if we didn't know that. We're compensated well for it. 

"Health is the most important thing, and longevity. So I think that especially with head injuries, you've got to be cautious with that. But at the same time, people do recover from those types of things.

"We're competitors and we love this game and we want to be out there for our team-mates, for our families, for the fans, for everybody. So it's a sliding scale. 

"It's not black and white when it comes to injuries at all. Sometimes you might try to play through something. If you're able to perform, you always want to perform. I mean, that's just the nature of the game that we play. 

"Ultimately, it just depends on the severity of the injury and depends on the person, the situation and all of that."

Phillips has suffered several concussions during his own career, and sympathises with Tagovailoa's condition, adding: "To be honest, that seems like a lifetime ago for me when I had those issues. 

"But I definitely sympathise with Tua and just hope for the best for him. You never want to see your team-mate, your brother, hurting like that."

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