Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow says head injuries are an inherent part of playing in the NFL

CINCINNATI -- Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said he is very familiar with concussionlike symptoms and that head injuries are an inherent cost of playing football.

In his weekly podcast appearance, Burrow said he hasn't had any long-term issues from concussions but conceded that he has likely suffered at least one during his career and has even forgotten entire chunks of a game before.

"I've had some where I don't remember the second half or I don't remember the entire game or I know I got a little dizzy at one point," Burrow told "The Colin Cowherd Podcast." "But nothing long-lasting."

Burrow went on to say that those issues are part of playing the sport.

"You're going to have head injuries," Burrow told the podcast. "You're going to tear your ACL. You're going to break your arm. That's the game that we play. That's the life that we live. And we get paid handsomely for it. I think going into every game, we know what we're getting ourselves into."

Burrow's comments come after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken off the field on a stretcher, went to a hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion -- four days after he had stumbled following a hit in a Week 3 game and continued to play after passing the locker room evaluation.

The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing Tagovailoa has been fired, with sources telling ESPN that the consultant made "several mistakes."

Tagovailoa and Burrow have exchanged messages in the past after severe injuries, and Burrow told reporters that he spoke to Tagovailoa following the Bengals' Week 4 game against the Dolphins.

"I'm glad he's OK," Burrow said Wednesday. "I haven't talked to him about when he'll be back, but all the signs point to him being healthy going forward and there shouldn't be any long-lasting effects. I'm happy for that."

Burrow told reporters that if he can go out and play despite an injury, he will. He added, however, that if he gets knocked out or presents other severe symptoms, he'll alert the training staff and leave the game.

Cincinnati encountered a similar situation with wide receiver Tee Higgins in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Higgins was evaluated for a concussion during the game after what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit, and coach Zac Taylor revealed on Wednesday that Higgins felt like he could return. He ultimately missed the rest of the contest.

"That's just a decision the doctor's got to make," Taylor said. "You follow the protocol that's in place. You follow the protocols and protect the players."

Higgins was also evaluated for a concussion on Week 3 against the New York Jets. He returned and finished the game.

Burrow, a third-year player, has not been diagnosed with a concussion since entering the league. His most significant injury occurred as a rookie in 2020, when he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee and required season-ending surgery.

He said a player can attempt to make football as safe as possible, but there are inevitable dangers that come with the game.

"You have 300-pound men running 20 miles an hour trying to take your head off while you're standing still, trying to ignore it and find receivers that are open," Burrow said on the podcast.