On Sept. 29, Miami Dolphin Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, suffered a major head injury versus Cincinnati Bengals in their week four away game. Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupou was the player to sack Tagovailoa in the second quarter.
The 24-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher after laying on the field motionless for several minutes. Tagolvailoa’s forearms were flexed up into the air with his fingers going different directions.This is a “fencing response” which can be a sign of brain injury, says CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The week prior, Tagovailoa also faced a serious concern after staggering off the field while he was sacked during the Buffalo Bills game. The NFL Player Association ruled it as a back injury that caused him to stumble even after taking multiple hits to the head.
The NFLPA proceeded to clear him to play for the next game which was against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins head coach, defended the decision to have Tagovailoa play since the neurologists gave them the green light for the quarterback to continue in next week’s game.
After the injury, Tagovailoa was directly taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center to be taken care of. The following day Tagovailoa was discharged from the hospital and able to fly home with the rest of the Miami Dolphin team. He also posted the picture below on his Instagram to thank fans for the support of his injury.
Since, the NFLPA allegedly has fired an independent trauma neurologist who claimed Tagovailoa had a back injury during week 3 at the Buffalo Bills, allowing him to play the following week where he is facing possible brain trauma. It was found the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant made several mistakes examining Tagovailoa.
On ESPN First Take, NFL experts such as Stephen A. Smith, expresses his anger towards this situation as he feels the coach should have known the collapsing was a concussion. His opinion mentions how the Miami Dolphin coaching staff is just to be at blame as the NFL medical callings.
This case raised an eye that protocols need to be made to enhance player safety within the NFL. As of last week, the NFLPA has approved updated concussion protocols.
The NFL and NFLPA agreed upon the revised concussion protocols that rule out players who have instability amongst any factor, like Tagovailoa during the week three Buffalo Bills game.
How do you feel about the Tua Tagovailoa head injury case and how it was handled? Do you think the new NFLPA concussion protocols are fair? Let us know your opinion by tagging @VALLEYMag on Instagram and Twitter!