The NFL Players Association has opened a review into the Miami Dolphins’ potential violations of concussion protocol involving quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Viewers watching the NFL’s Thursday Night Football matchup featuring the Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals witnessed a frightening injury sustained by Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa, a former Alabama standout, was sacked on a second-down play with just under six minutes to go in the first half.
Immediately after being brought to the ground, Tagovailoa’s hands moved directly in front of his face with his fingers unnaturally extended in various directions.
— OutKick (@Outkick) September 30, 2022
The quarterback was carted off the field and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The Dolphins reported prior to halftime that Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all extremities.
Tagovailoa flew back to South Florida with the team Thursday night and was wearing a neck brace as a precautionary measure, according to ESPN.
In Miami’s game last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa temporarily left the game after his head hit the ground hard. He stumbled while getting up. But the quarterback returned to the game after clearing the Dolphins’ concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa and coach Mike McDaniel said then that the quarterback had suffered a back injury in that game.
After Tagovailoa was carted off the field Thursday, the NFLPA tweeted that it was investigating a “potential protocol violation”
Player health and safety is at the core of the union's mission. Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 30, 2022
Sports Illustrated reported Friday that the NFLPA would “pursue every legal option” in Tagovailoa’s situation.
“We insisted on these rules to avoid exactly this scenario,” the association stated, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “We will pursue every legal option, including making referrals against the doctors to licensing agencies and the team that is obligated to keep our players safe.”
A number of concussion experts have levied intense criticism against the doctors and team officials who were involved in clearing Tagovailoa’s return to the playing field.
Neuroscientist Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, suggested in a tweet that those responsible for allowing Tagovailoa to play should “go to jail.”
This is a disaster. Pray for Tua. Fire the medical staffs and coaches. I predicted this and I hate that I am right. Two concussions in 5 days can kill someone. This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022. pic.twitter.com/D8S8eEbgda
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 30, 2022
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL