Amazon’s first two “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts of the 2022 NFL season went relatively well. The streaming service impressed fans with its coverage of Chiefs-Chargers and Steelers-Browns.
But it came up short in the eyes of many with its coverage of the injury Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered during Miami’s game in Cincinnati in Week 4.
Tagovailoa suffered a serious-looking head and neck injury in the second quarter. He was stretchered off the field after hitting his head on the turf while being sacked by Josh Tupou.
It appeared that Tagovailoa displayed a “fencing response,” which occurs when a person’s arms are frozen in an unnatural position following a head injury.
Despite this, Amazon elected to show a replay of the injury, even after taking a commercial break and having time to assess whether it should show what happened.
Amazon showed another replay in the fourth quarter.
This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and they voiced their displeasure on Twitter.
Amazon with the replays
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake)
The discussion from Michaels and Herbstreit has been OK and credit to them for quoting a doctor rather than speculating. But Amazon needs to answer for the decision to show the replay so many times. Felt gratuitous and invasive and unnecessary.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones)
Why the hell would you replay this man laying on the ground like that…prayers up tua 🙏🏾
— Dont’a Hightower (@zeus30hightower)
Oh yeah let’s show the replay again. Just in case you missed it.
— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9)
We don’t have to do a replay. Thanks.
— M.G. (@MarcasG)
Another major issue was how the injury was analyzed at halftime. Amazon’s four-person studio team of Charissa Thompson, Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick spoke about the injury but didn’t raise a critical question, such as: Why was Tagovailoa able to play on Thursday night after suffering a similar-looking injury just four days earlier?
Tagovailoa staggered after appearing to hit his head on the turf against the Bills. At that time, the Dolphins reported that he was dealing with a back injury. Many questioned that designation, including the NFL Players Association, which. The that the probe is ongoing.
NFLthat Tagovailoa underwent the proper concussion protocol Sunday.
Amazon’s studio analysts did broach the topic in their pregame discussion. They also discussed it during their postgame show, with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Whitworth and Richard Sherman sharing personal stories about concussion protocol from their playing days.
Still, none brought it up during the halftime show. Fans and media called them out for that.
Amazon halftime show makes no mention of what happened to Tua on Sunday against Buffalo. No mention of Dolphins letting him play after he literally didn’t know where he was.
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina)
As an active player, Richard Sherman was one of the most vocal critics of Thursday Night Football, arguing that it was dangerous for players to play with so little time off between games. Now he cashes a paycheck on Thursday Night Football and ignores the issue after Tua’s injury
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith)
Amazon just did an entire halftime segment on Tua without mentioning that Tua was tested for a concussion 4 days ago or that the NFLPA requested an investigation.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal)
To have any credibility whatsoever, Amazon must have someone who will raise the obvious question of whether Tua should have been playing at all tonight, after what happened on Sunday.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk)
If there were a professional NFL journalist or reporter on this Amazon halftime set, the full story here would be told and analyzed. And the public would be more informed for it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN)
I understand they were trying to take a serious tone, but to focus on the news that “he has movement in his extremities” and not have any critical discussion about what happened to Tua on Sunday is a very bad look for Amazon and that halftime crew.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones)
That’s not to say that every element of Amazon’s coverage was flawed. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a particularly poignant moment when he tried to vocalize how he was feeling after seeing Tagovailoa, with whom he is close, go down.
“That was a scary scene,” Fitzpatrick said. “As a player, you’ve got to move on and you got to play the game. As the announcer — analyst — I’m having a tough time right now.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick got emotional at halftime talking about what happened to Tua.
“As a player you gotta move on and play the game. As an announcer, an analyst, I’m having a tough time.”
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill)
But in there were areas where Amazon could have done better.