Two concussions in 4 days for an NFL player
Miami Dolphins star Tua Tagovailoa was hospitalized with a neck and head injury during an NFL game in Cincinnati, four days after undergoing a concussion protocol in another game.
The quarterback « is conscious and can move his limbs to their extremities, » the Miami franchise said in a somewhat reassuring tweet.
Shortly before the break, Tagovailoa was tackled in the legs by a Cincinnati Bengals defender. The action seemed rather innocuous, but the Dolphins player fell badly on his cervical, his neck and the back of his skull. The image appeared much more impressive in slow motion, seeing her fingers on both hands suddenly stiffen as if uncontrollably.
The medical staff of his team quickly went to take care of him, a neck brace was put on and he was evacuated on a stretcher.
The injury comes four days after another suffered against the Buffalo Bills, when a Bills defenseman tackled him, his head banging hard on the ground.
Tua immediately got up but couldn’t walk on his own and collapsed again. Entered the locker room in the second quarter, he returned after the break to finish the game after having passed without incident the concussion protocol imposed in this type of situation.
He was then decisive in the victory of the Dolphins against the Bills (21-19).
Criticism nevertheless rained on the Florida team’s decision to return him to the game after this dangerous action, although the franchise, through the voice of its coach Mike McDaniel, spoke of « a lower back injury » and not in the head.
“When he hit his head on the ground I assumed it was a head injury. But his legs became wobbly because his lower back was completely loose, as he described to us,” he explained after the meeting.
These explanations did not prevent the players’ union (NFLPA) from opening an investigation into the way the concussion protocol was carried out and the Dolphins’ decision to bring Tagovailoa back on the field.
Under the 2020 collective agreement, the NFLPA, the players’ council, or any player has the right (either independently or collectively) to file a complaint regarding a potential breach of concussion protocol.