Investigation Shows Miami Dolphins Followed Concussion Protocol With Tua Tagovailoa

After Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa followed the NFL’s concussion protocol Got injured Against the Buffalo Bills last month, the NFL and the NFL Players Association concluded a joint investigation.

The parties issued a joint statement on their findings on Saturday.

“The outcome in this case was not what was expected while drafting the protocol,” the statement said.

As a result, the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to modify the league’s concussion protocol, adding the word “ataxia” to mandatory “no-go” symptoms. In the statement, they defined ataxia as “an abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunction caused by a neurological problem”.

If a player is diagnosed with ataxia by a team or other neutral physician, that player will be immediately taken out of the game and will receive follow-up care.

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

In the first half of the game of Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills on September 25, Tagovailoa took a hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano, slamming him to the ground. He later appeared disoriented and stumbled while trying to climb to his feet.

Tagovailoa was immediately taken to the locker room and carried through the NFL’s concussion protocol, after which he was cleared. He returned to the game to start the third quarter, drawing criticism from the audience as to why he was allowed back into the game.

The NFLPA later announced that it was launching an investigation into the situation. organization Later fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) who handled Tagovailoa’s injury during the game.

Less than a week after the injury, Tagovailoa made his debut in Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He suffered a stroke In the first quarter after taking the hard sack, and displayed a response to the fencing after the horror hit. He was pulled off the field and immediately taken to the hospital. He sticks to concussion protocol and will miss Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president overseeing health and safety, said in a virtual news conference Saturday that he believes this is the first time UNC has been fired, and that the NFL has made the decision to fire him. not supported.

The NFL and the NFLPA said they reviewed the video of the Bills game, jointly interviewing members of the Dolphins’ medical staff, chief athletic trainer, Booth ATC spotter, UNC and Tagovailoa.

They found that Tagovailoa showed no signs or symptoms during his locker room exam, during the rest of a Bills game, or the entire week before a Bengals game. But soon after taking the hit from Milano, gross motor instability was present.

After the Bills game, Tagovailoa and Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel stated that the quarterback had suffered a back injury prior to a few plays sneaking the quarterback.

The review said Tagovailoa told medical staff that he had aggravated his back injury during the game and that his back injury caused him to stumble.

It also said that the medical staff determined that the gross motor instability was not due to a concussion.

“They concluded that the player’s back injury was the cause of his instability,” the parties said in the release. “However, the team physician and UNC did not examine Mr. Tagovailoa’s back during the concussion exam, but relied on an earlier examination conducted by other members of the medical staff.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a fan forum in London on Saturday that the NFL would make a “change or two” to its concussion protocol as it criticized Tagovailoa’s handling of the injury.

“The protocol exists to establish a high level of concussion care for each player,” the league and union said, “whereby each medical professional engages in a meaningful and rigorous examination of player-patents.” To that end, the Parties remain committed to continuing to evaluate our protocol to ensure that it reflects a conservative approach to the evaluation of player-patients for potential head injuries.”

In an interview the morning after the Dolphins-Bengal game, neuroscientist Chris Nowinski, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said that the dolphins put Tagovailoa’s life in danger and failed to protect him.

“It’s everyone’s failure,” Nowinsky told “CBS Mornings.” This is a failure of the medical team. This is the failure of the independent medical team on Sunday. This is the failure of the coaching staff. The problem is all these failures, none of them will be punished. The person who is punished here is Tua.”

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