The NFLPA is calling for an investigation into whether the Miami Dolphins followed proper procedure in clearing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s return to action in the team’s victory over the Buffalo Bills Sunday.
Pro Football Talk’s Tom Pelissero, who was first to report the story, notes that under the NFLPA’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA), “Management Council or any player has the right (independently or collectively) to bring forward a complaint about an alleged failure to follow concussion protocol, to be investigated and resolved by the union and management council.”
Tagovailoa took a hit late in the first half from Bills linebacker Matt Milano — who was flagged for roughing the passer — and sat stunned for several seconds before getting up unsteadily, stumbling at one point as he trotted away.
This is what happened to Tua Tagovailoa after his head hit the turf hard. Not sure how you let him back in.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 25, 2022
Tagovailoa went to the locker room for a concussion evaluation, but unexpectedly returned for the start of the second half to the surprise of many observers.
“I can confirm that the concussion protocol was followed, including a locker room exam,” NFL spokesperson Megan Grant told Pro Football Talk. “These decisions, as you know, are made by a team physician and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant.”
After the game, Tagovailoa said he “passed whatever concussion protocol they had.”
Tua Tagovailoa describes his experience through back injury that took him off the field late in the first half. pic.twitter.com/8j8RHGsgbD
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) September 25, 2022
“It felt like I hyperextended my back,” Tagovailoa said (via David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). “On the next play, I hit my back and kinda hurt it. Then I got up and that’s kinda like when I stumbled. For the most part, I’m good. Passed whatever concussion protocol they had.”
This news about an investigation takes some of the good vibes away from the Dolphins’ impressive 21-19 victory over the Bills that leaves them undefeated at 3-0.