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Tua Tagovailoa’s head harm leaves questions that have to be answered by the Dolphins


Early within the second quarter of Thursday night time’s sport between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa dropped into the pocket to throw.

Cincinnati defensive deal with Josh Tupou burst by means of the Miami defensive position and obtained to the quarterback, spinning him to the turf for the sack. Within the course of, Tagovailoa’s helmet bounced off the turf at Paycor Stadium, and it was instantly obvious that the quarterback had suffered an harm. Tagovailoa’s fingers drew near his face, and the passer stayed on the turf as his teammates and later medical personnel rushed to his support.

Tagovailoa was taken off the sphere on a stretcher, and the Dolphins introduced he was being transported to a close-by hospital for additional analysis. The crew’s social media account famous that he was aware, with full motion in his extremities:

Two hours later, the crew reported that Tagovailoa was “anticipated” to be discharged from the College of Cincinnati Medical Middle, and would fly again to Miami with the Dolphins:

Whereas that’s actually welcome information, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and the group should present solutions over the subsequent few days relating to Tagovailoa taking part in in Thursday night time’s sport to start with. Keep in mind, Tagovailoa suffered an harm throughout Miami’s sport Sunday towards the Buffalo Payments, the place he was knocked to the turf after releasing a go and — much like what we noticed Thursday night time — hit the again of his head on the taking part in floor at Laborious Rock Stadium.

Then, as Tagovailoa obtained to his ft, he stumbled again to the turf:

Tagovailoa was instantly taken out of the sport, and the crew reported initially that he had a head harm, and was questionable to return:

However then, reviews emerged that Tagovailoa was actually coping with a again harm, handed concussion protocols, and could be returning to the sport:

Tagovailoa certainly returned to the sport, main the Dolphins to a win over the Payments. After the sport, he appeared on the podium and addressed the state of affairs, pointing to a again harm as the rationale for him being visibly shaken on the sphere:

And the phrase from his coach was that Tagovailoa performed by means of “some again ache:”

Underneath the phrases of the league’s Collective Bargaining Settlement, when a participant shows “gross motor instability,” then the participant can not return to the sport whether it is decided “by a crew doctor, in session with the unaffiliated neurotrauma advisor,” to have a neurological trigger.

In Tagovailoa’s case, medical doctors decided that his instability was not brought on by a head harm:

Moreover, an NFL spokesperson said after the sport that the quarterback “underwent an examination by the Dolphins’ crew physician and an impartial sideline neurologist and was cleared for return.”

Nonetheless, the NFLPA was not satisfied. Shortly after the sport, the NFLPA said that it could provoke an investigation into how Tagovailoa’s harm was dealt with. Underneath the CBA, the NFLPA, the NFL Administration Council, or any participant have the best to convey a criticism relating to an alleged failure to comply with concussion protocol. Such complaints can be investigated and resolved by the union and the administration council:

The standing of that criticism? It’s nonetheless in course of, and was nonetheless in course of when Tagovailoa traveled to Cincinnati with the crew, and it was nonetheless in course of when Tagovailoa took the sphere Thursday night time, simply days after his sport towards the Payments.

However based on reporting from Mark Maske of The Washington Submit, the league believes protocols had been adopted:

After Tagovailoa’s harm on Thursday night time, the NFLPA said that their issues are targeted on Tagovailoa and his well being, and that their investigation into the potential “protocol violation” is ongoing:

The timeline calls into query the present course of beneath the CBA. In keeping with the CBA, investigators can interview concerned events and anyone:

… moderately believed to be in possession of knowledge related to the inquiry (together with gamers, league workers, membership workers and members of the concerned membership’s medical employees) and, upon request from any Consultant, shall be supplied, as shortly as moderately attainable, with a replica of all sport movie, different recorded proof and another documentation related to the investigation of the criticism.

Then, the investigators should full their investigation and produce a report of their findings inside two weeks.

Following that, the Govt Director of the NFLPA will meet with the league’s Deputy Normal Counsel to find out if a violation certainly occurred, and/or what the suitable self-discipline must be. If they can not agree on whether or not a violation occurred, or what the self-discipline must be in the event that they discover a violation occurred, then the matter is referred to an neutral arbitrator. In that situation, the arbitrator will maintain a listening to no later than 30 days following the referral, and inside every week after the listening to closes, they’ll current a written report back to the NFL.

However within the interim, the participant can nonetheless swimsuit up and play.

As Tagovailoa did on Thursday night time.

Now, maybe all of the protocols had been certainly adopted in Tagovailoa’s case, and because the early reporting from Maske signifies, the league at this level believes the Dolphins adopted applicable procedures final Sunday in Miami.

However permitting Tagovailoa to take the sphere on Thursday night time, simply days after that harm and whereas the matter was beneath additional investigation to find out if concussion protocols had been certainly adopted, actually appears misguided with the good thing about hindsight.

For some, nonetheless, the hindsight was not mandatory.

Chris Nowinski is a Behavioral Neuroscientist, and a former skilled wrestler. Following his days within the ring, he earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Boston College. Nowinski additionally based the Concussion Legacy Basis, and has devoted his profession to a greater understanding of head harm and mind trauma in sports activities.

Hours earlier than Tagovailoa took the sphere, Nowinski posted this on social media:

That final sentence turns one’s abdomen this Friday morning.

Soccer is a harmful sport, a collision sport the place accidents can and can happen. However as our understanding of head accidents grows by the day, the processes in place to safeguard the gamers on the sphere should grown and modify accordingly. Maybe the Dolphins did certainly comply with each factor of the present concussion protocol. However plainly if there’s sufficient concern to provoke an investigation into how a participant’s head harm was dealt with and evaluated, then additional safeguards must be in place earlier than a participant sees the sphere once more.

At the moment, gamers who undergo the protocol are required to have a follow-up analysis the subsequent day, but it surely stops there:

Maybe additional follow-up testing must be required, particularly in circumstances the place an investigation has been initiated, earlier than they take the sphere once more.

Generally, groups must step in and shield a participant from himself. At an early age soccer gamers are taught that “one of the best capacity is availability.” They’re taught the distinction between “being harm, and being injured.” They be taught to play by means of ache, and thru accidents, to maintain their job.

Wealthy Ohrnberger, a former NFL offensive lineman, provided this perception into struggling a concussion when Andrew Luck retired from the NFL:

On Thursday night time, Ohrnberger took to social media to share how the New England Patriots dealt with his concussion again through the 2011 season:

In his phrases, the Patriots saved him from himself.

Ought to Tagovailoa have been saved from himself as properly? Maybe, and perhaps the Dolphins tried. Possibly not. However these are simply a number of the questions the crew must reply within the wake of what all of us noticed Sunday, and Thursday night time.




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