The NFL has vowed to learn from the concussion controversy surrounding Tua Tagovailoa after the Miami Dolphins quarterback suffered a sickening head injury just days after another worrisome collision that left him stumbling across the field.
A prominent campaigner called for job cuts and even jail time for Dolphins staff after Tagovailoa was hospitalized following the incident in Thursday’s defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The quarterback was flung to the grass in the first half and stayed down for over seven minutes.
Sunday, against the Buffalo Bills, saw the 24-year-old shake his head and stumble to the ground, before returning to play shortly after. The quarterback was officially diagnosed with a back problem, but an assessment is underway to determine if the league’s concussion protocol was being followed correctly.
Tua Tagovailova suffered a head injury when Josh Tupou of the Bengals tackled him on Thursday
Tagovailoa’s hands seemed to go into screen reaction on landing, which is an unnatural position of the arms after a concussion
Tagovailoa’s treatment has put the NFL’s head injury prevention measures back in the spotlight, and on Friday, the league’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, first on the incident.
“Of course we are always concerned when one of our players suffers an injury – of any kind – and our aim is to avoid as many injuries as possible and certainly to quickly diagnose and treat any injuries appropriately. treat,” he told DailyMail. com.
“I’m a neurosurgeon and have spent my entire career treating people with brain and spinal cord injuries — athletes and non-athletes alike — and it’s been my passion and practice and livelihood for decades. So I am fully committed to this issue and the idea that the NFL can and will be a leader in all sports in this field.
“We’ve made some changes to our concussion protocol… every year we look in great detail and committed to ourselves, our results, our procedures with the idea of getting better. And we’ve gotten better and I believe we’ll keep getting better.
‘We are also getting better because of this incident. That is the nature of medicine. As a doctor, I certainly don’t do the same things today as I did five or ten years ago. That quest for improvement will continue.’
The NFL’s chief medical officer has insisted the league will ‘learn’ from the Tua situation
Just four days earlier, Tagovailoa stumbled around after a hit and appeared to have a concussion
Tagovailoa was taken off on a stretcher after a second blow in just four days – coach Mike McDaniel (right) said he spoke to his QB as he was taken off the field
The review – by the NFL and the players’ association – continues Friday, with “very specific and very substantial penalties” available. They range from fines to loss of draft picks.
After the defeat to the Bengals, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel defended the decision to play Tagovailoa, insisting the quarterback had passed a number of checks by independent specialists.
“I don’t think last week’s injury caused him to fall in any way this week,” he said. “I have absolutely no patience for, or would I ever endanger a player. That’s not my concern at all.’
But Chris Nowinski, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said Dolphins’ staff should “go to jail for letting him play for five days after an apparent concussion you covered up,” adding on Twitter: “The medical staff and coaches… two concussions in five days can kill someone. This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022.’
Tagovailoa traveled back with his teammates on Thursday and authorities hope to speak to him “once he recovers”.
Tupou (center) watches as Tagovailoa receives medical attention after their collision
The 24-year-old needed extensive treatment on the pitch in terms of scenes
“Luckily I can report that the player is doing very well. He was examined at a local hospital, was discharged and was able to travel back home,” Sills said.
“We are going to talk to everyone who was involved in the evaluation and decision-making surrounding that game last Sunday. That’s the team doctor, the team athletics coach, the independent doctors on the field, in the booth and our spotters and hopefully the player himself once he recovers.”
Sills added: ‘Equally important is the opportunity for education – we can learn from all the cases where the protocol was not followed or the protocol did not take into account a particular situation and improve it.
“That’s what you’ve seen us do in the past…there’s always the opportunity – not just for discipline or accountability, which is important – but to look at the protocol itself and say, can the protocol be improved if because of what we’ve learned?’
Before Thursday’s game, concussion expert Chris Nowinski urged the Dolphins to keep Tagovailova off the field, but he started against the Bengals.
A few hours later, Nowinski claimed that Dolphins’ medical staff should be jailed
One issue is that the review could not be completed in time to avoid Thursday’s incident.
“These reviews take time – you have a lot of video reviews, interviews with individuals, collecting all the data and materials, so we’re doing them as fast as we can, but it’s not something that can happen overnight.” Sills added. “As with any trial you want to be thorough, consistent and fair to everyone involved, so we’re doing this as quickly as we can… For example, I know that this medical staff has continued to evaluate the player every day since last Sunday’s game. .’
He added: ‘We are now very committed to reducing the amount of head contact that generally occurs in football. Obviously we want to prevent, diagnose and treat concussions, but we want to go further… Our commitment is firm, our track record in this field will continue to reveal that we are determined to make progress in this area… and be a world leader .’