Amazon criticized for coverage of Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa's injury on 'Thursday Night Football'

Amazon criticized for coverage of Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa's injury on 'Thursday Night Football'

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.

MORE: Tua Tagovailoa injury update — Latest news on Dolphins QB’s condition

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.

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?

MORE: Parts of NFL world condemn Dolphins’ decision to clear Tagovailoa 

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 opened an investigation into the matter. The association said Thursday night via Twitter that the probe is ongoing. 

NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller said Wednesday that 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.

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.

MORE: Revisiting the Dolphins’ Ryan Fitzpatrick-Tua Tagovailoa QB controversy

“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.”

But in there were areas where Amazon could have done better.