NFL chief medical officer says Tua Tagovailoa showed ‘nothing that would have triggered’ the concussion protocol
Tua Tagovailoa’s visit to the concussion protocol generated a lot of controversy, and it seems that history is repeating itself.
The Miami Dolphins quarterback is in the concussion protocol for the second time this season after Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers; however, the league says he showed no signs of such an injury during the game.
Tagovailoa reported symptoms the day after the game, but the league’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, said Tuesday in an interview with NFL Network that he did not display anything “that would have triggered the protocol” during the game.
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“What our observers and our unaffiliated neuro physicians are looking for is any blow that transmits force to the head or neck area, followed by that injury behavior.” sills explained. “So there’s a lot of head hits that happen during a game. We’re always looking for the hit plus injury behavior and obviously if we see any injury behavior then a call is made to assess that player. Also, if a player identifies some symptom or a teammate, coach, referee, anyone else identifies symptoms, that also initiates a protocol. So many people can initiate the protocol and in this game on Sunday, none of those factors were present. No signs were present , despite the fact that there was a blow to the head and the player did not report any symptoms, despite having been in contact with the medical staff throughout the game, so there was nothing that would have triggered the protocol at the time” .
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It is not known when exactly Tagovailoa suffered the concussion, but it is believed that he sustained it after he threw a pass to tight end Durham Smythe and was tackled from behind in the second quarter, causing his head to hit the grass at the Hard Rock Stadium on Christmas Day. .
Tagovailoa stayed in the game, but it wasn’t pretty, as he threw three straight interceptions in Miami’s last three series as the Packers scored 16 unanswered points to win 26-20 on the road and keep their playoff hopes alive.
That inning was eerily similar to the hit he took in Week 3, where he reeled after the hit but played for just three days later, then suffered a concussion that sent him to the hospital and forced the NFL to make changes to its protocol.
The blow to the head was so strong that Tagovailoa’s hands were folded over the field. Many speculated that he should have been in the concussion protocol after that hit against the Bills.
Instead, he practiced as usual before the week’s early game.
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Tagovailoa finished Sunday’s loss to the Packers going 16 of 25 for 310 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. He surpassed 200 yards alone in the first half after some long completions, including an 84-yard reception and touchdown run to Jaylen Waddle.
The 8-7 Dolphins currently sit as the seventh seed in the AFC playoff picture, but have lost each of their last four games.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.