NFL, NFLPA: Outcome in Tua’s case not intended

The NFL and NFL Players Association released the results of their review regarding the handling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s case following an apparent head injury Sept. 25.

In a joint statement Saturday, both parties agreed that “the outcome in this case is not what was intended when the protocols were drafted.”

Tagovailoa was injured in consecutive games, the Dolphins’ win over the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25, and then the following Thursday, Sept. 29, in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“While the investigation determined that the team medical staff and unaffiliated medical professionals followed the steps of the protocol as written, the NFL and NFLPA agree that the outcome in this case is not what was intended when the protocols were drafted,” the statement read.

“As such, as has been done in previous cases based on the advice of the parties’ respective medical experts, the protocol will be modified to enhance the safety of the players.”

Tagovailoa hit the back of his head on the ground and stumbled while trying to return to the huddle after a play in the Dolphins’ win over the Bills. He was immediately taken to the locker room with a head injury, the team announced at the time.

He passed the locker room evaluation, however, and returned to finish the game after halftime with both Tagovailoa and the Dolphins clarifying that his stumble was caused by a back injury he suffered earlier in the game.

Four days later, Tagovailoa was taken to a local hospital after his head hit the turf in a Week 4 loss to the Bengals. He was diagnosed with a concussion and is ruled out for the Sunday game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFLPA initiated its right to request a review of the NFL’s concussion protocol following Tagovailoa’s quick return to the Bills game and terminated the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who initially evaluated the quarterback during the matchup.

Teddy Bridgewater will start for Miami at quarterback Sunday, when the Dolphins meet the New York Jets.

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