NFL, NFLPA announce they ‘anticipate changes’ to concussion protocol amid Tua Tagovailoa incident
In the wake of the Tua Tagovailoa concussion controversy, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Saturday saying “modifications” are “needed” in the league’s concussion protocol.
“The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the concussion protocol are needed to enhance player safety,” the statement said.
“The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘gross motor instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.”
The NFLPA terminated the neurotrauma consultant who checked Tagovailoa for a concussion Sept. 25 after it was found he made “several mistakes” in his evaluation of the quarterback, according to multiple reports.
The Dolphins quarterback briefly left the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills after taking a hit and wobbling to the turf.
Many believed Tagovailoa had suffered a concussion on the play, but the team said he passed concussion protocols. Tagovailoa said he hyperextended his back, resulting in the fall.
However, the incident was enough for the players association to launch an investigation, which is still ongoing, per the statement.
While the league said it had “every indication” that protocol was followed properly, Tagovailoa suffered a scary injury Thursday. His fingers curled up after a similar tackle from the one he took in Week 3. This time, he suffered head and neck injuries and a confirmed concussion that resulted in a trip to the hospital.
He was released shortly after and flew back to Miami with the team following the game.
Thursday’s injuries led to significant backlash, with many saying Tagovailoa should not have been playing and was in danger of a serious injury.
The quarterback tweeted Friday he was feeling “much better,” but the team said there is no timetable for his return.