As fate would have it Chris Nowinski had a bad feeling hours before the Dolphins kicked off Thursday night about Tua Tagovailoa and a worse feeling after they did.
Then last Friday, Nowinski, a leading expert on concussions, and founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation stated that he fears Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa may have permanent brain damage which could lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And being an active player in the NFL could lead to needing an NFL Disability Claim Attorney later on down the road.
Nowinski, a Boynton Beach, Florida resident, had warned that if the Dolphins allowed Tagovailoa to play against the Cincinnati Bengals, it would represent a “massive step back” for concussion care in the NFL.
Tagovailoa did play and did suffer a concussion. Now the Dolphins and NFL are facing hard questions on whether the league’s concussion protocol either failed or was not adhered to, because Tagovailoa was playing four days after being injured against Buffalo.
If Tua takes the field tonight, it's a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL.— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 29, 2022
If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they must know this isn't right https://t.co/vxpaOif5rh
Now as luck would have it – the NFL, NFLPA reportedly working on change preventing players’ return after ‘instability’. NFLPA and NFL soon are expected to agree to new protocols in which any time any player demonstrates any instability, he is not allowed to return to the game. The rule could go into effect as early as week 5.
Then later on, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement stating they had not made any definitive conclusion about medical errors or protocol violations concerning the Miami Dolphins quarterback, but have agreed that changes needed to be made to the league’s concussion protocol.
The next day, Tagovailoa released his first statement since the hit, thanking fans for their prayers and support but not saying much else about the situation as he wanted to be coy about the situation.
Speaking with reporters, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel indicated Tagovailoa was still experiencing headaches and had no timetable to return, a situation not uncommon with serious concussions. He was also again forced to defend his team’s handling of the quarterback, insisting that all protocols had been followed after Tagovailoa’s first hit.