The NFL players union is not happy with the return of the Dolphins quarterback after receiving an apparent blow to the head
MIAMI — The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has told the NFL it wants to initiate a review of the league’s concussion protocol following the return of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. to this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tagovailoa left the game after hitting the ground hard late in the first half and the team announced at halftime that he was questionable for a return with a head injury. He completed an 8-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle after coming out of the pocket, and Bills linebacker Matt Milano shoved him after throwing the ball. The quarterback went backwards and hit his head on the ground on the fall; Milano was penalized for roughing the passer.RELATED
Tagovailoa was slow to get up, tripping as he tried to walk back to the pre-game briefing, and was escorted to the locker room shortly afterward. According to the NFL’s concussion protocol, a player must be removed from the game and evaluated on the bench if he shows any symptoms of concussion.
Tua Tagovailoa briefly left the game against the Buffalo Bills after taking a hit in the second quarter. Getty Images
The benchtop concussion evaluation protocol involves a six-step process that evaluates the player for signs of disallowance, a video review of the replay, review of signs and symptoms of concussion, a consultation about the history of the event, the primary assessment, and a focused neurological examination. If any element of the bench evaluation is positive or inconclusive, the player should be taken to the locker room for a full review, accompanied by the most appropriate team physician and an external neurological consultant.
Tagovailoa returned to the field after halftime and finished the game for the Dolphins, eventually winning 21-19. After the game, head coach Mike McDaniel said the problem was actually Tagovailoa’s back, as he was hurt on a direct play by the quarterback earlier in the game.
Tagovailoa said he felt as if he hyperextended his back on the quarterback’s failed direct play attempt and that his back “locked up” after Milano’s hit, causing him to stumble.
“It was painful when it happened. But, any competitor who never wanted out would have done the same thing,” he said. “So he was trying to do everything he could to get me back up, get to the next play and run it.”
Tagovailoa finished with 186 passing yards and a touchdown, completing 13 of 18 pass attempts. He said he would get tested on Monday and assess how he feels from there.
The Dolphins have a short week to prepare for their Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. Teddy Bridgewater would start if Tagovailoa can’t play seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson as a backup.