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NFL Players Association, NFL amend concussion protocol after Tagovalioa’s injury

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

The NFL Players Association and the NFL said Saturday that it has updated its concussion protocol amid backlash over the handling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovalioa’s recent head injury.

The NFL’s concussion protocol will now also include “ataxia” among its mandatory “no-go” symptoms, according to a joint announcement from the player’s union and the NFL. Ataxia refers to impaired balance, motor coordination or speech caused by a neurological issue.

If a player is diagnosed with “ataxia” going forward, he will not be allowed to return to the game, according to the new protocol.

An investigation into Tagovalioa’s case also found that the team medical staff and other medical professionals correctly followed the concussion protocol. However, the NFL and the player’s union agreed that the outcome was “not what was intended when the Protocols were drafted,” leading them to the new updates.

Tagovalioa had to be carted off the field on a stretcher last week after he suffered what appeared to be his second head injury within one week. The NFL and the NFL Players Association fired a neurotrauma consultant that was involved in assessing Tagovalioa’s first injury and announced that it was considering changes to the concussion protocol.

Tags concussions Dolphins football Head injuries NFL Sports

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