The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has launched an investigation surrounding how the Miami Dolphins’ medical staff handled Tua Tagovailoa’s apparent injury last week amid the quarterback’s scary moment on Thursday night.
It is being speculated Tua suffered a head injury last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills
As many spectators and medical professionals on social media pointed out last weekend, Tua looked to have experienced some sort of head injury after taking a hit in the Dolphins’ week three win over the Bills. After being shoved to the ground, Tua attempted to pick himself off the ground and began stumbling around, appearing disoriented. Dolphins medical staff cleared him from concussion protocol to continue playing in the game, which was met with some controversy around the football world by those concerned for Tua’s safety.
The Dolphins, on a short week, cleared Tua to play on Thursday night in Cincinnati where, unfortunately, he appeared to suffer yet another injury after being slammed to the ground. Tua did not bounce back up this time. There was no stumbling or dizziness. In fact, Tua laid uncomfortably still with his hands locked in a fencing position after his head violently bounced off the ground. Everyone, including Al Michaels on the Amazon Prime broadcast, knew it was a bad head injury immediately. Concern for Tua quickly turned to frustration with the Dolphins’ medical staff. Many began to wonder, including our own Brian Miller in this piece from this morning, why Tua was even playing Thursday night to begin with.
There are just some things that are bigger than football
The health and wellbeing of Tua Tagovailoa should be prioritized over anything right now. As fans, we have a competitive nature to us where we want our team to succeed, no matter what. But the human empathy in us needs to hope to see Tua’s frightening injury be handled the right way. For Tua’s sake, fans should hope to see Teddy Bridgewater under center for the foreseeable future until Tua is completely cleared from his head injury.
The NFLPA is not out to get the Dolphins — they are only looking out for the health and wellbeing of the individuals who play the most violent sport there is. If the NFLPA investigation finds the Dolphins mishandled any head injury suffered last weekend, then shame on them. We would like to think the team would do what is best for its players, but professional football is a business.
But right now, fans should just hope for the best for Tua. Brain injuries are so absolutely frightening and destructive. Tua is only 24 years old and has a long future ahead of him. He should take his time recovering from this injury and take care of himself. The Dolphins must ensure that Tua and the medical staff are being as cautious as possible. Brain injuries can ruin careers and lives. It is much bigger than football.