NFLPA Fires Independent Doctor Who Cleared Tua To Play

Miami Dolphins staff and team surrounding Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins staff and team surrounding Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 4 - While the NFLPA is still amid its investigation into the decision to clear Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to play in Week 3, they have already decided to take action and fire the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) who helped administer concussion tests. The initial investigation found that the UNC made "several mistakes" while evaluating Tagovailoa during Week 3, per ESPN.  

Tagovailoa was evaluated for concussion symptoms after hitting the back of his head and wobbling upon getting to his feet during a hir in Week 3's game against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa returned to the game, was diagnosed with back and ankle injuries upon the contest's conclusion, and never entered into concussion protocol. In a Thursday night game just four days later, Tua was whipped to the ground on a sack and remained on the turf before being carted off and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with a concussion and neck injuries. 

The Dolphins quarterback was diagnosed with a concussion and has no timetable for return. Head coach Mike McDaniel reported that Tagovailoa flew back with the team following Thursday's game in Cincinnati. McDaniel said Tua sat next to him, they spoke about the injury and his health, then watched the film 'Macgruber' together


6 comments, Last at 05 Oct 2022, 1:25pm

#1 by fyo // Oct 02, 2022 - 4:35am

I'll just reiterate my comment from last week's injury report: So we're supposed to believe Tua didn't have a concussion?

Points: 0

#2 by johonny12 // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:14am

He sat and watched the entire Macgruber movie. No one non-concussed would do that :) It's hard based on Thursday's game to believe he wasn't also hurt in Sundays games. Miami is saying the went along with the best advice of the independent doctors. I don't think the coach is wrong to say that, but it's also a convenient excuse. 

Points: 0

#3 by RickD // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:19am

He had symptoms of a concussion including shaking his head, difficulty standing, wobbling.  

Heard last night based on that alone he needed to enter the protocol which would have entailed a minimum of 5 days not playing.  Would have missed the rest of the Bills game and the Bengals game.  Clearly somebody decided that was unacceptable.

BTW, the "new rule" announced by the NFL and NFLPA is not really any different from what the previous rule was.  The NFL does this: rather than admit they ignored their own rules, they create a new rule and pretend it hadn't existed previously.

But of course no rule is immune to active deceit.


Points: 0

#4 by fyo // Oct 03, 2022 - 5:30pm

There is one significant difference between the old rule and the new proposal: Gross motor instability (such as what Tua exhibited) is an automatic end-of-game-enter-concussion-protocol under the proposal. The old rules required (allowed) the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) to decide whether the motor instability was due to a head injury or something else. If the UNC determined it was something else (like a back injurt), then the player would not be put in the concussion protocol and would be allowed to immediately return to action.

IMHO, they also need to actually get the "spotters" to start spotting. The league has a spotter up in a booth for every game whose SOLE job it is to look for signs of concussions and alert the refs to it, which would halt the game and require the player to get checked out (officials' timeout). Anyone who saw the Bucs game last night knows that the spotter was sleeping when Bucs TE Cameron Brate was in an awkward collision with a teammate after catching the ball. The Bucs were in a rush as it was close to halftime and didn't want to waste a timeout due to injury, but Brate was so rattled he never managed to get off the field, resulting in a 12-men penalty. The talking heads saw it as soon as Brate went down and commented on it on air. Yet Brate was allowed to return to the game and finished the drive. He was determined to be concussed during halftime and didn't return and is obviously in the concussion protocol now. That spotter had ONE JOB. And it wasn't a collision away from the play or anything - it was the ball carrier.

Points: 0

#5 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:30pm

for poor protocol. So poor they amended it right away. Why would it need amending if it was working fine and the it was just the doctor making "several" mistakes? Ryan Clark or whoever said all they pretty much do is ask what day it is and who the president is. Then when he drove home but couldn't find his exact house.

If Tua doesn't get hurt again, whoever it is probably still has a job. 

Points: 0

#6 by Scott P. // Oct 05, 2022 - 1:25pm

Never expected Doctor Who to show up in this drama.

Points: 0

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