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NFLPA fires doctor, agrees to change concussion protocols after Tagovailoa injury

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) rolls out as he looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

The NFL’s player’s union has fired a doctor and agreed with the league on changes to the league’s concussion protocols amid backlash over a concussion suffered by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovalioa.

Tagovalioa appeared to suffer a head injury last weekend, but was allowed to continue playing. He then started for the Dolphins just four days later, and suffered a chilling concussion in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals that caused his hands to seize up.

The third-year quarterback was carted off the field and admitted to a nearby medical facility before being discharged later that night. 

“The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety,” the NFL and its players’ union, the NFLPA, said in a joint statement on Sunday.

“The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.” 

The statement follows the NFLPA dismissing a neurotrauma consultant on Friday who was involved in the concussion protocol check of Tagovalioa after his first injury during a game against the Buffalo Bills, according to NFL.com. 

The reasons for the dismissal reportedly included failure to understand his role and hostility during the investigation into the injuries, which remains ongoing.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner returned to the Bills game and led his team to victory, with the team saying it was actually his back that bad been injured and that he cleared concussion protocols to return.

But when he suffered another injury days later, fans and pundits erupted in criticism of the Dolphins organization and concern about the impact on Tagovalioa’s future.

In a statement on Friday, Tagovalioa thanked fans for the good wishes and added he’s feeling much better and is focused on returning to the field soon.

Tags Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals Concussion Florida Miami Miami Dolphins NFL NFL Players Association
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