The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on Saturday indicating that following an investigation, no violations were found regarding Tua Tagovailoa’s recent concussion. The Miami Dolphins quarterback suffered a head injury during the Dolphins’ Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers. While Tagovailoa finished the game. Miami head coach Mike McDaniel informed the media the next day that Tagovailoa had been placed in the concussion protocol.
Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots.
In the joint statement, the NFL and NFLPA outlined that the concussion protocol is necessary when a “player receives an impact to the head and exhibits or reports signs or symptoms suggestive of a concussion.” However, in this case “symptoms of a concussion were neither exhibited nor reported” until Monday:
NFL and NFLPA, which released this joint statement, say there were no violations of concussion protocol last week regarding Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa: pic.twitter.com/pC14KF1gRJ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2022
This is not the first investigation into a concussion suffered by Tagovailoa. In the Dolphins’ win over the Buffalo Bills back in Week 3, Tagovailoa struck his helmet on the turf in the first half and appeared woozy, and it was reported that he suffered a head injury. He remained in the game — leading the Dolphins to a win over the Bills — and after the game it was stated that he suffered a back injury.
Tagovailoa started the Dolphins’ next game, just days later against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was knocked out of that game after a sack, and taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. Tagovailoa missed two weeks while in the concussion protocol, and the NFLPA requested an investigation into how his injury was handled.
Following that investigation, the NFL and the NFLPA found that no violations occurred in handling Tagovailoa’s situation. However, the concussion protocols were modified to add gross motor instability — which Tagovailoa displayed against the Bills — to the list of “no go” symptoms that would rule a player out of a game.