The Cincinnati Bengals defeated one of the NFL’s two undefeated teams, the Miami Dolphins, on home turf Thursday night, 27-15.
But the Dolphins’ loss is something of an afterthought after what happened late in the second quarter.
A terrifying scene unfolded at midfield as Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was wrapped up by defensive tackle Josh Tupou and brought down for a sack, the back of his head hitting the turf hard.
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Tagovailoa appeared to be unconscious and was carried out of the stadium on a stretcher. The Dolphins got good news after the fact, as Tagovailoa was said to be conscious and had feeling in all of his extremities. He left the stadium in an ambulance with head and neck injuries.
The broadcast noted that Tagovailoa would be released from the hospital tonight and would travel home with the team. The Dolphins later confirmed it.
This comes just days after Tagovailoa apparently suffered a head injury in the first half against the Buffalo Bills but came back and finished the game. Instead, they said he was dealing with a back injury that made him appear dizzy on the field.
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Teddy Bridgewater would come on for Tagovailoa the rest of the game, and he ended up capping that drive late in the first half with a shovel pass to running back Chase Edmonds, who made his way into the end zone to make it 14-12.
Joe Burrow led the Bengals in an opening drive touchdown, with Joe Mixon finding the end zone for the first time this season. He had been struggling to set up the running game, but his offensive line helped him with a goal-line push that sent him down six.
Then, he found wide receiver Tee Higgins for a 59-yard catch and run after he passed the Dolphins’ best cornerback, Xavien Howard, down the left sideline.
From there, it was a field goal battle. Both teams had chances to score in the red zone, but could not finish. Evan McPherson was 2-for-2 on his field goal attempts, the longest of which was 57 yards.
Jason Sanders went 3-for-4 on the night and missed an extra point on the Dolphins’ only touchdown against Edmonds.
The icing on the Bengals’ victory was an interception thrown by Bridgewater to Vonn Bell, who had two interceptions on the night, during a fourth-quarter drive with the Dolphins trailing, 20-15. They had a chance to take the lead with a touchdown run, but Burrow changed the script after the turnover.
He found tight end Hayden Hurst on a short pass to give the Bengals the win.
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Ultimately, Burrow threw for 287 yards with two touchdowns on 20-of-31, while Bridgewater was 14-of-23 for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Before leaving the game, Tagovailoa was 8 of 14 for 110 yards.
Tyreek Hill wanted revenge on Eli Apple and he got it with 160 yards on 10 receptions. However, he couldn’t cap it off with a touchdown.
Tee Higgins led the Bengals’ sideline with 124 yards on seven receptions. Ja’Marr Chase finished with 81 yards on four catches.
The Bengals, now 2-2 on the year, got some rest before traveling to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Oct. 9.
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Miami will determine what their quarterback situation will be on the same date, when they take on their AFC East rivals, the New York Jets, on the road.