When Tua Tagovailoa appeared to suffer a head injury against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, many why he was allowed to return to the game shortly after, with even more wondering how he was allowed to play in Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which he suffered a terrifying head injury. While the Miami Dolphins allowed him to play both times, not every team would have.
According to NFL insider Adam Schefter of ESPN, multiple NFL teams have since said that they would not have allowed Tagovailoa to play on Thursday night based on his injury on Sunday.
“He was listed all week long as questionable,” Schefter said. “I’ve spoken to teams that have called me since his injury occurred that said that their training staffs would not have allowed Tua to play on a short week last night [based] on the circumstance he experienced last week.”
Obviously, Tagovailoa did play. And the Dolphins have defended that decision with head coach Mike McDaniels proclaiming that the team did follow concussion protocol. But that doesn’t mean it was the right decision.
“Now, he did play,” Schefter said. “And every team has a different medical staff and different standards. But, again, I come back to ‘gross motor instability.’ It’s the phrase that’s in the protocols. It’s the phrase that people are using. People have said he has a concussion. The Dolphins said he didn’t have a concussion. We don’t know whether he did or he didn’t. What we do know is that when he walked off that field on Sunday, something did not look right. Something was wrong. And Tua was allowed to re-enter the game after being cleared by the doctors leading up to the circumstances last night that left everybody with a deep, disturbed feeling about how the system had failed.”
The NFL and the NFLPA continue to investigate Tagovailoa’s situation, though initial indications are that concussion protocol was followed.