NFL Changes Concussion Protocol After Latest Controversy

Sports

| LAST UPDATE 10/17/2022

By Kenzie Rose
Tua Tagovailoa NFL Injury
Dylan Buell/Contributor via Getty Images

It was a game like any other, yet it has drawn massive criticism from the public. And now, it has officially called for some new rules: the NFL is reevaluating its concussion protocol following the recent injury suffered by Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa during a Buffalo Bills game. Here's what went down.

It all started during the first half of the game against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa was hit by Bills linebacker Matt Milano. After stumbling to his feet and showing signs of disorientation, he was ushered to the locker room for the standard NFL concussion protocol. After evaluation, Tagovailoa was cleared of any head injury and began playing in the third quarter of the game. Although he appeared disoriented, the quarterback and his coach Mike McDaniel said it was due to a back injury he had sustained earlier in the game. It was the next game that would become a cause for concern.

Tua Tagovailoa Dolphins Bills
Andy Lyons/Staff via Getty Images
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Four days later, the Miami Dolphins were matched up against the Cincinnati Bengals for Thursday Night Football. Tagovailoa was dropping back to make the pass when the Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou managed to grab the star QB and throw him to the ground. Tagovailoa showed the fencing response, which is a potential sign of brain injury. He was immediately carted off the field on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. Sure enough, Tagovailoa had a concussion. Fans, reporters, and commentators criticized the fact that he was allowed to play in this game after the Bills game. Since this incident, the NFL has fired the neurologist who cleared Tagovailoa to play against the Bills and changed its concussion protocol. Ataxia, which is an abnormality of balance, motor coordination, or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue, is now included as a no-go symptom. If a player shows any signs of ataxia, they will be prohibited from returning to the field.

Hopefully, this change to the NFL concussion protocol will avoid more serious issues. While he is still not cleared to return to the game, fans only wish him the best for his health. Stay tuned for more updates.

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