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Should the Dolphins have let Tua Tagovailoa play against the Bengals? The NFLPA doesn’t think so

There will likely be a number of questions in need of answers in the coming days, as the NFLPA attempts to get to the bottom of the situation.

Tua Tagovailoa después de sufrir una conmoción cerebral
Dylan BuellAFP

With focus rightfully increasing on the problem of concussions in the league, the NFLPA appears to be prepared for war in the wake of a recent high-profile case involving the Dolphins’ star QB.

What happened to Tua Tagovailoa?

By now you’ve probably seen that on Thursday night, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered what appeared was clearly a very scary blow during his team’s 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Indeed, after he was carted off the field and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center via ambulance, reports confirmed that Tagovailoa had suffered a concussion. On a positive note, he was later discharged - albeit wearing a neckbrace - and was able to join the team before flying back to Miami. As things stand now, there are growing concerns about whether or not Tagovailo should have been allowed to play in the first place.

To be clear, Tagovailoa was sustained an injury during last Sunday’s win against the Buffalo Bills. Following a heavy hit from linebacker Matt Milano, images appeared to show the QB suffering a blow to the back of the head. If nothing else, we can definitely say that the Dolphins star was unstable as he attempted to get to his feet and then subsequently stumbled to the ground. What followed was rather strange sequence of events as the Dolphins initially acknowledged a head injury only to officially classify it as a back injury, before allowing Tagovailoa to return to the game. What followed, was an announcement by the NFLPA that they would be investigating whether or not the team had followed the concussion protocol, however, being on a short week, said investigation was not completed before Miami’s date with Cincinnati. With that said, here we are.

The danger to Tua Tagovailoa is very real

As you can probably guess by now, there is an increasing belief that Tagovailoa suffered two concussions in less than a week. It need not be said, that such a scenario would be extremely risky to his long-term health. According to reports, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has taken serious issue with the development and has threatened serious action in an effort to keep players safe. “We insisted on these rules to avoid exactly this scenario,” Smith said. “We will pursue every legal option, including making referrals against the doctors to licensing agencies and the team that is obligated to keep our players safe.”

This of course brings us to the crux of the matter. While it’s understood that the NFLPA had every intention to investigate Tagovailoa’s situation regardless of what happened on Thursday night, the reality is that concussions in the NFL are and have been for some time, a very contentious issue. Given that the Dolphins’ star did in fact suffer a severe injury, one can imagine that the heat has now well and truly been turned up. Will Tagovailoa’s concussion be a catalyst or will the league continue to tip toe around an issue that it shouldn’t? We can only wait and see.


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