Report: NFLPA Fires Independent Neurotrauma Consultant Involved In Clearing Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa During Week 3 Game Vs Bills
The National Football League is beginning to see disciplinary action being taken against those involved in the alleged mishandling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s medical issues and injuries. Officials have reported that the independent neurotrauma consultant who was involved in clearing Tagovailoa to return to action Sunday against the Buffalo Bills has been fired. The NFL Players Association reportedly found that “several mistakes” were made in the consultant’s evaluation after it launched its investigation into the Dolphins organization on Sunday.
The NFL and NFLPA both hold the rights to terminate contracts with a UNC without an established agreement from the other party. In this case, the NFLPA did not require the NFL’s consent to fire the consultant. The NFLPA’s investigation was initiated after Tagovailoa suffered an injury during the second quarter of week three’s division game.
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. The Dolphins ended up winning against the Bills, and claiming first place in the AFC East.
The decision to allow Tua to return to action in the second half was seen as controversial in the eyes of many on-air sports media members. After suffering another injury Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, outrage sparked and spread across social media, directed at the Dolphins and the league. Tagovailoa suffered a head and neck injury after his head hit the ground from the sack by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou. The quarterback laid motionless for approximately twelve minutes before ultimately being taken away on a stretcher to a local medical facility at the University of Cincinnati.
“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 on Thursday.
Tagovailoa was soon discharged and allowed to fly back to Miami with head coach Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins. Officials say that the quarterback’s scans came back negative and no further damage other than a concussion was reportedly found. NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills claimed to media that Tagovailoa was evaluated for a possible concussion every day between Sunday and Thursday.
ESPN has more HERE.