NFLPA Issues Statement in Aftermath of Tua Tagovailoa’s Frightening Injury vs. Bengals

Sports Illustrated

September 30, 2022

The NFL Players Association tweeted a statement Thursday night regarding Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s neck and head injury he suffered vs. the Bengals.

The NFLPA launched an investigation into the Dolphins’ handling of the quarterback’s concussion check last Sunday after he was hit hard in the second quarter vs. the Bills. He cleared concussion protocol and returned to the game. After the game, Tagovailoa said he suffered a back injury.

On Thursday night, Tagovailoa was sacked and hit the ground hard once again. This time, he wasn’t able to get up after the hit, and trainers rushed to the field before he was taken off the field on a stretcher. He was taken straight to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for a head and neck injury.

The quarterback is expected to be discharged Thursday night and will travel back to Miami with the team.

“Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission,” the NFLPA tweeted Thursday night. “Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”

It is possible that Tagovailoa would not have played Thursday night if the concussion check presented a different outcome from what the Dolphins announced last Sunday.

The league’s concussion protocol entails a six-step process in which a player is tested for any “no-go” signs. Additionally, the play is reviewed on video to look for any signs or symptoms of a concussions. The players are asked about the event and all of the Maddocks questions, and they are given a focused neurological exam.

If the player doesn’t test negative for all the steps, they must be further examined in the locker room.

The NFLPA’s investigation is looking into why Tagovailoa was cleared on Sunday, and eventually why he was active Thursday night.

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