Tua Tagovailoa injury: NFL concussion protocol in question

Following Tua Tagovailoa’s terrifying head injury on Thursday Night Football, many are pointing to an injury he apparently sustained against the Bills on Sunday.

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Miami Dolphins Thursday night, but what everyone will be talking about in the game is the scary injury sustained by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa’s head was slammed onto a sack in the second quarter and he appeared to have a fencing reaction, a telltale sign of head trauma, and he was thankfully taken to a local hospital with all of his extremities used, according to the Miami Dolphins.

There was much debate on Sunday and Thursday when Tagovailoa was forced out of the game in Sunday’s game against Buffalo after his head seemed to hit the ground. Tagovailoa got up and had to be grabbed by teammates immediately when he tripped and fell to the ground. Many thought Tagovailoa suffered a concussion at the time. But the Dolphins said he cleared the record at halftime, went back out and the Dolphins won the game.

Now the conversation returns to Sunday after Thursday’s head injury, when many thought he had suffered a concussion.

On the Locked On Sports Today podcast, host Peter Bukowski discussed the situation with Kyle Crabbs, the host of the Locked On Dolphins podcast.

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Bukowski asked Crabbs how what happened Thursday night affects the way he sees Sunday’s apparent injury being handled.

“I know there is a lot of skepticism about the injury sustained Sunday and the NFLPA has requested an investigation and honestly I think it’s really difficult to say anything definitive until more information is gathered from Sunday Because it was claimed that it was independent, the doctor who administered the concussion on Sunday gave him the all-clear,” Crabbs said.

“I know everyone wants to jump on it right away, but I think this is something that doesn’t look good on the surface, but it deserves the proper process of gathering all the information because it could also be a very unfortunate coincidence. And this NFLPA investigation into the protocols put in place Sunday after Tua Tagovailoa, we’re going to sort it out. It’s a standard couple of week process, and unfortunately if there was anything nefarious at play, it happened to be paired with a game played four days later after that original incident.

The survey is scheduled to take approximately two weeks, so it may be a while before we have more information on whether the dolphins have been following the protocol correctly. The other part of this is that Tagovailoa will be released for Thursday’s game, and does that tell us what happened that it shouldn’t have been released?

Crabbs said he doesn’t see how the dolphins could have handled it any differently if he was indeed acquitted by doctors and independent doctors on Sunday and moving on.

“I don’t know if you could have handled it any differently, and again, that’s based on the information we have,” Crabbs said. “If there is a need for more transparency on the concussion protocol and how it is handled, maybe that can be explored. But based on the information we have now and on Sunday I don’t know what other reasonable conclusion you could have come to other than that looked pretty scary, I don’t know if that injury was a back injury or not a head injury from far.”

“That sentiment abounds on social media right now and I understand it because it doesn’t look good visually,” Crabbs continued. But with the information we have, I didn’t get into this game and said I can’t believe Tua Tagovailoa is playing quarterback against the Bengals tonight based on the information we had on Sunday.

Over on Friday’s Locked On NFL Podcast, hosts Christopher Carter and Your Boy Q welcome Dr. Kerina Maharaja, PT, who based on what she saw with Tagovailoa on Sunday, said she doesn’t understand how he was erased in such a short time to return to Sunday’s game.

“If you look at the NFL’s concussion protocol, it’s 5 parts, 5 steps that are very thorough. When I work in the NFL and I have to test these players, I don’t get the 10 minutes and send them back on the field,” said Dr. Maharaja. “These five steps will not take 10 minutes, it will take a week. I think they went in and did a verbal, visual and balance assessment and said he’s not showing any immediate or acute signs, he looks fine. He’s probably passed her oral test by that point.”

“They have healthcare professionals and I’m going to trust that healthcare professional, whatever their opinion was, but if you look at the 5-step protocol, the final step is from your GP to an out-of-home doctor and you’re ‘can do it not in the tunnel in 10 minutes,” she continued. “So that’s the concern I have.”

Watch the full conversation on the Locked On NFL Podcast on YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Locked On has a daily podcast for all 32 NFL teams, find yours today!

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/nfl/tua-tagovailoa-injury-should-the-dolphins-qb-have-been-on-the-field-thursday-cincinnati-bengals-miami-dolphins-mike-mcdaniel-concussion-protocol-nfl/535-30228d20-c374-47cb-9511-08b0043fdcc4 Tua Tagovailoa injury: NFL concussion protocol in question

Emma Bowman

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