After an extensive investigation of Tua Tagovailoa’s unfortunate head injury in the Dolphins vs. Bengals game, both NFL and its players’ association agree that changes need to be made to the existing concussion protocol.
On September 30, Tagovailoa of Dolphins suffered a frightening head injury that caused a severe concussion. The former Alabama All-American was immediately escorted out of the field on a stretcher and was transported to the hospital later. Although Tagovailoa has been released from the hospital, controversy arose regarding the concussion protocol of the NFL.
The Dolphins are also accused of not handling the 24-year-old quarterback’s head injury in a previous match against the bills on Sept 25. In that week 3 match, Tagovailo left the field after suffering a head injury. It seemed to be a concussion as he struggled to stay upright. However, to everyone’s surprise, he returned to the field to play out the second half.
To understand how Catastrophic Thurs Head Injury was to Dolphins QB #TuaTagovailoa
Watch his 1st injury from Sun & witness how his brain/body betray him after
Then watch the 2nd – JUST 4 DAYS LATER – & pay attention to his Hands & Fingers
This young man will never be the same. pic.twitter.com/kHSAe5gJ2K
— Michael Hustus (@HustusMichael) September 30, 2022
While the officials of the Dolphins confirm that Tagovailoa cleared concussion protocols, they are still facing massive criticism regardless. In response, the Dolphins have already fired the neurotrauma consultant involved with clearing Tagovailoa in Week 3.
In light of the recent events, NFL and NFLPA have decided to make amends to concussion protocol to prevent similar cases in the future. “The outcome, in this case, was not what was intended when the Protocol was drafted,” read the statement of NFL and NFLPA released on Saturday.
The NFL and NFLPA announce they agree concussion protocols were properly applied with Tua Tagovailoa on Sept. 25, but that those protocols — now modified — were insufficient. Joint statement: pic.twitter.com/Eo2OkaAvGj
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 8, 2022
In the amended protocol, the term “ataxia” will be added to the list of mandatory “no-go” symptoms. Ataxia is defined as an abnormality of balance or stability, motor coordination, or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue. Therefore, if any players get diagnosed with ataxia in the future, they will not be allowed to enter the field for the rest of the match.
These changes are much welcomed by the NFL community. It should turn out to be crucial in preventing any further incidents like the one we witnessed in the Dolphins vs. Bengals game.