However, during the team’s Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tagovailoa suffered a head injury.
While the injury was horrifying to witness, it wasn’t the first hard hit for him this season.
A hit during the Dolphins’ Sunday game against the Buffalo Bills saw Tagovailoa suffer a serious blow to his head when he hit the ground.
But somehow, the medical staff said he didn’t suffer a concussion during that game.
That medical staff, along with the Dolphins QB, said it was a back injury that caused him to stumble in the game.
However, Thursday night’s injury has many questioning the NFL’s medical evaluations of players.
Countless People Saw The Danger In Letting Tua Play
From former NFL players to neurological experts, there were countless people who saw the danger of playing Tagovailoa after his injury.
Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho came out stating we need to put player safety first.
Truth be told Tua should probably never have been playing.
He displayed neurological trauma last week, we disregarded it, labeled it a “back injury” & let him back in the game.
Now, the whole world watch as he lay on the field helpless. When will we put player safety FIRST!
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 30, 2022
Chris Nowinski, an advocate for athletes who’ve suffered concussions and a neuroscientist, made remarks countless times about the Tagovailoa situation.
If Tua takes the field tonight, it's a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL.
If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they must know this isn't right https://t.co/vxpaOif5rh
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 29, 2022
He was the one who knew this was coming, with the team allowing their QB to play.
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 30, 2022
His plea to everyone was for people to make sure “the NFL can’t do this again.”
With the recent events in both Miami and Cincinnati, it’s clear the medical staff didn’t do their due diligence.
Even the NFLPA thought something was wrong with the medical ruling on Sunday.
However, their actions in this matter didn’t come soon enough.
how did the NFL/NFLPA not expedite this investigation? how can that be allowed to take a week or two while a player is possibly in a compromised position?
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) September 30, 2022
NFL Needs Rules Overhaul On Any Head Injury
While the NFLPA was investigating the medical ruling with Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, there was nothing to protect the young QB.
With the suspicion of an incorrect diagnosis, the NFL needed to step in to pull the QB from the lineup.
There need to be protections for players with suspected head injuries, as they can be life-threatening.
But there’s nothing to protect players from a misdiagnosis by medical staff members.
According to the NFL health and safety fact sheet, a player only needs to pass a five-step process to return to the field.
While the process is conducted by a team doctor and independent neurological consultant, it still doesn’t protect players if the doctors get it wrong.
So long as the NFL and NFLPA keep surrounding themselves with physicians who are willing to tell them what they want to hear, players will keep getting concussed and their playing careers will be cut short.
Simple as that.
— Dr. Jorge Caballero stands with 🇺🇦 (@DataDrivenMD) September 30, 2022
New rules need to be put in place to bar players from returning until a full medical evaluation is done at a hospital.
At the very least, players who have had head trauma in games shouldn’t play until a full investigation is complete.
While some see rules like this as extreme, it’s worth having rules to protect players.
Without protections, players’ lives are potentially in danger if doctors are wrong.
The NFL brings joy and excitement to fans when they watch games.
However, Thursday night’s scene left fans horrified at what happened to the Dolphins QB.
Protecting players with new rules can help prevent another terrifying scene from happening again.