The NFL and NFLPA's investigation into the handling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion evaluation is ongoing, but current and former head coaches are sounding off on the situation.
Appearing on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan voiced his frustration with the controversial decision to bring Tagovailoa back into the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills after his head slammed into the ground and the quarterback got up wobbly before stumbling.
“You got to protect the player from himself. I had a simple philosophy as a coach, I treated everyone of my players like they were my son," Ryan said Sunday. "That’s all you have to do. I could tell you this, would you put your son back in that game when you saw it?
Ryan didn't buy that Tagovailoa had back and ankle injuries in Week 3.
"This is clearly from head trauma. That’s it, a concussion,” he said. “I know what it looks like. We all know what it looks like. My answer is this, no way in hell I put my son back in that game. No way in hell. And you know what, no way in hell I put somebody else’s son back out there either.”
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Despite what looked like a head injury in Week 3, the Dolphins listed Tagovailoa with back and ankle injuries. He was questionable going into Thursday’s Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins quarterback played, but suffered a scary head injury in the second quarter. He was placed on a stretcher, carted off the field and transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He was discharged Thursday night and traveled back to Miami with the team.
The Dolphins quarterback is currently in concussion protocol.
Ryan’s comments come on the heels of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh telling reporters that he “couldn’t believe” what he saw regarding Tagovailoa.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw last night,” Harbaugh said Friday. “I couldn’t believe what I saw last Sunday. It was just something that was astonishing to see.”
Ryan believes everyone involved deserves blame for the handling of Tagovailoa’s medical situation, including Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel.
“This is an epic fail. It’s a fail on the coach, too,” Ryan said. “As a coach, you’re the last line of defense. I’m sorry but I’m not letting that guy back out there.”
The NFL and NFLPA announced Saturday that they are going to make modifications to the concussion protocol. The changes are expected to be finalized in the coming days.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion evaluation an 'epic fail,' Rex Ryan says