Advisor Who Cleared Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to Return to the Game Fired by the NFLPA

The NFL Players Association has fired an unrelated neurotrauma advisor who evaluated Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after he was kicked off the field against Buffalo last weekend, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday. .

The person who confirmed the firing, which was first reported by Pro Football Talk, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of Tagovailoa’s quick return to Sunday’s game in a joint effort by the NFL and its players’ union. Review continues. a source Firing also revealed CBS Sports to NFL Insider Jonathan Jones.

However, a spokesperson for the NFLPA did not immediately confirm the firing when reached by CBS News.

“This is an ongoing investigation on which we are unable to provide any official comment or confirmation,” NFLPA spokesman George Atlah said in a brief statement. “We will get back when we are able to provide details.”

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is walked off the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 29, 2022 at Pecor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ian Johnson / Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Each sport has three unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants (UNCs). They are paid jointly by the league and the players union to work with team physicians to diagnose concussions. The NFLPA is exercising its right to eliminate UNC directly involved in the decision to remove Tagovailoa, who sustained an injury four days later following a catastrophic hit in Cincinnati on Thursday night.

Tagovailoa initially showed signs of convulsions following a head injury during a home game against Buffalo, but was cleared to return by the team doctor and UNC. He and his team later reported that his legs were wobbly due to a back injury.

Later hit on thursdayWhen 6-foot-3, 340-pound Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupo slammed him backwards into the turf, Tagovailoa’s hands froze and his fingers awkward for several seconds in front of his facemask as he lay on the turf in Cincinnati. Kind of flexed. He lay on the ground for several minutes until he was taken on a stretcher and sent to the hospital. He was discharged from the hospital and went home with the team hours later.

It is unknown whether there is a connection between the two injuries. Concussions are common in the NFL, especially when a player is thrown to the ground by a man the size of a taupo and his head hits the turf.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel defended the team from a quarterback injury deal against the Bills when he took a hit from linebacker Matt Milano at the end of the first half and appeared to bang his head on the turf. Tagovailoa stumbled when he woke up and was taken to the locker room for evaluation, then returned to play at the start of the third quarter.

McDaniel reiterated Friday that Tagovailoa had been cleared by multiple layers of medical professionals during that game and said the QB did not suffer a head injury, which is why he was not in the concussion protocol going into Thursday’s game. .

Many observers questioned why Tagovailoa was allowed to return to the field against the Bills. A joint review by the league and the NFLPA will examine the steps taken and issue a report.

McDaniel said there is no timetable for Tagovailoa’s return on Friday.

Sunday’s incident prompted the NFL and the NFLPA to jointly review the extent of his injuries and whether the Dolphins followed proper concussion protocol that day. The results of the joint investigation have not been released yet.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time that player is kicked out of the game without thinking it through,” Chris Nowinsky, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, told “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson on Friday.

Nowinsky, a neuroscientist, Said that dolphins killed Tagovailoa in danger and failed to protect him.

“It’s everybody’s failure,” Nowinsky said. “It’s the failure of the medical team. It’s the failure of the independent medical team on Sunday. It’s the failure of the coaching staff. The problem is all these failures, none of them will be punished. The person who is the punishment here tua. ”

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called the situation “astonishing.”

“I couldn’t believe what I saw last night,” Harbagh told reporters on Friday. “I couldn’t believe what I saw last Sunday. It was something that was amazing to watch, and I’ve been coaching for 40 years… I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Tagovailoa tweeted a statement Friday evening thanking fans for their support.

“It was difficult not to be able to finish the game and be with my teammates, but I am grateful for the support and care I have received from the Dolphins, my friends and family, and everyone who has reached out,” he said. “I feel much better and am focused on recovering so that I can be back on the field with my teammates.”

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