Dolphins QB Matt Moore officially cleared to return after big hit

— -- PITTSBURGH -- Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore said he got "smoked" by Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree in Miami's playoff loss to Pittsburgh, but that he didn't suffer a concussion.

He said he was more worried about whether he still had all his teeth.

Moore was hit high by Dupree in the second quarter and stayed on the ground for more than 2 minutes, talking to the Steelers medical staff. He went to the sideline and was briefly replaced by backup quarterback T.J. Yates. Then he put his helmet on and was back in the game, less than 5 minutes after the hit. He said he knew he hadn't suffered a concussion.

"I just really needed a second," he said. "Obviously, with all the protocols you see the doctor and do all that. It was fine."

After the game the Dolphins released a statement saying, "Matt Moore was evaluated and cleared by the unaffiliated neurological consultant and team physician before entering the game."

Moore said he only felt pain in his back and chin after the hit. He wouldn't go as far as to say Dupree's hit was dirty. Dupree was flagged on the play.

"It was a clean hit. Super clean...I hit in the chest area, facemask to the chest. We'll see what Roger [Goodell] says," Dupree told ESPN's Josina Anderson after the game. "I understand why there was still a flag. But we should go through the appeal process and get everything alright."

Overall it was a rough day for Moore. He threw for 289 yards and a touchdown but also had three turnovers, which included two fumbles and one interception.

It was Moore's first career playoff start for the Dolphins (10-7) after serving most of his previous 10 seasons as a backup.

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