Brian Daboll paused to gather his feelings because the picture of Tua Tagovailoa mendacity on his again together with his palms frozen within the air replayed in his thoughts.
The scary scene of the Dolphins quarterback getting carted off the sector Thursday night time after struggling a concussion raised questions on whether or not he ought to’ve even been on the sector solely 5 days after his head was slammed into the turf and he stumbled attending to his toes in Miami’s earlier recreation. It resonated strongly with Daboll, who was the offensive coordinator for Tagovailoa throughout Alabama’s national-championship-winning 2017 season.
“He means a lot to me,” Daboll mentioned in a solemn tone Friday. “Special kid, great family, and it was tough.”
The Dolphins mentioned that Tagovailoa cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol, however the NFLPA and lots of present and former gamers had been outspoken that the workforce jeopardized Tagovailoa’s personal security. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh mentioned it was “astonishing” and he “couldn’t believe” what he noticed Thursday and even final Sunday, when Tagovailoa reentered the sport in opposition to the Bills.
Giants security Xavier McKinney, who mentioned he has by no means suffered a concussion, was a star on that 2017 Alabama workforce and has some considerations about how his former teammate was dealt with by the Dolphins.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t,” McKinney informed reporters after apply. “But at the end of the day, I don’t really know what’s going on with that organization.”
Daboll plans to examine in with Tagovailoa, however hasn’t but out of “respect for him, his family, their space.” Like the Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel, Daboll is a first-time head coach. And head coaches are accountable for coordinating with the medical workforce relating to who’s cleared for apply and recreation participation. Will he suppose twice now about being extra cautious?
“I think every decision is different,” Daboll mentioned. “I don’t really think about them as players. I know I’m a coach, but … they’re not too far off from my kids. Anytime a guy gets hurt, just prayers for him, his family and the people around him.”
During his year at Alabama, Daboll additionally recruited quarterback Justin Fields, who will begin Sunday for the Bears in opposition to the Giants. Fields finally dedicated to Georgia and transferred to Ohio State, whereas Daboll moved on to the Bills.
“He was an impressive, impressive player,” Daboll mentioned. “We went and watched him, had an opportunity to satisfy with him when he got here up on a go to [with] his household.
“I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a good, young quarterback, and I think he has a bright future.”
DL Leonard Williams’ streak of 114 straight video games performed to start out his career ended final week, and he additionally has been dominated out for Sunday. Williams typically jokes that he has “tiger blood” and is “like Wolverine” as a result of his sprained MCL is therapeutic rapidly.
“I’m going for longevity over short-term gains,” Williams mentioned. “Little does he know that [former left tackle] D’Brickashaw Ferguson was a vet when I came into the league with the Jets. Never missed a game [in 10 seasons]. That stuck with me and even though he probably never talked to me or knew I held onto that, it’s been a part of me since knowing that about him. I’m glad I’ve been able to make it this far.”
CBs Cor’Dale Flott (calf) and Nick McCloud (hamstring) and WRs Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring) had been dominated out in opposition to the Bears. CB Aaron Robinson (appendix), LB Jihad Ward (knee) and DB Justin Layne (concussion) all practiced absolutely and had been cleared to play.