Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa To Meet With NFL, NFLPA Regarding Joint-Investigation Into Sunday’s Concussion Vs Bills

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
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Over the last week and a half, the National Football League has come under fire for its alleged mishandling of concussion injuries sustained by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The situation has drawn the attention of not only Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO Chris Nowinski, but also New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. on the federal level. As a result, the NFL and NFLPA have both agreed to update the protocols for concussions that are still subject to formal approval by the NFLPA’s Health & Safety Committee.

With the update in protocols, players that display instability in mobility will be officially ruled out regardless of any other potential factors. Discussions are still ongoing, according to NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills. The league and the NFLPA released a statement, emphasizing the importance of player safety being the reason updates to the concussion protocols are being made.

“The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety. The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.”

“The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety,” the statement continued on to say. “This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play it for the past twelve seasons.”

The independent neurotrauma consultant that was involved in clearing Tagovailoa on Sunday was fired by the NFLPA, as a result of the NFLPA’s investigation into the Dolphins organization. The NFLPA holds the right to terminate contracts without having an established agreement with the other party. As part of its joint investigation, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Tagovailoa will be meeting with representatives from both parties. Officials say that the hope is to complete the investigation within a week’s worth of time.

The investigation began after the injury the quarterback suffered in Sunday’s week three matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Bills linebacker Matt Milano pushed Tagovailoa to the ground and his head bounced off the grass as a result. After transitioning back up to his feet, Tagovailoa was seen shaking his head momentarily before attempting to rejoin his teammates back in the huddle. The quarterback ended up stumbling over himself, and was quickly taken to the sideline to be evaluated for a possible concussion. He was listed as questionable with a head injury at first, but returned in the second half after it was claimed that his stumble was the result of a back injury.

Tagovailoa was cleared to play the following Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Sills stated that Tagovailoa passed evaluations for a possible concussion every day between Sunday & Thursday. The quarterback suffered a head and neck injury in the second quarter of the game, after his head hit the ground from the sack by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou. Tagovailoa was motionless on the ground for approximately twelve minutes before ultimately being taken away on a stretcher to a local medical facility at the University of Cincinnati. He didn’t stay for long, as Tagovailoa was soon discharged and allowed to fly back to Miami with Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and his teammates.

“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,” the NFLPA said in a statement after Tagovailoa was carted off the field.

The NFL has more HERE.