The Miami Dolphins should be outraged and so should Mike McDaniel if the news today has any significant weight regarding the handling of Tua Tagovailoa during the Bills game.
A short time ago we published an article that said you need to be outraged over the Tua situation despite the fact that no news has been reported about the concussion protocols. A lot can change in a small amount of time. Feel free to start getting mad.
We can’t say with certainty that what happened to Tua on Thursday night was related 100% or not but it isn’t looking good for the independent neurologists who cleared Tua to come back and play last Sunday against the Bills.
To understand this better, the NFL employs independent doctors to check players for concussions. If they clear, they can return. Using this format is supposed to eliminate the self-interest of the team to get a key player back in the game.
The NFLPA, conducting their own investigation into the matter, apparently has found several mistakes made in the diagnosis of Tua last Sunday. In fact, the NFLPA has fired the neurologist who cleared Tua.
So now, here we are. There is a lot more to this story that we don’t know. For example, what happened between him being cleared to return to the game and then Thursday night? According to multiple reports, Tua was tested and monitored all week leading up to the Thursday night game and cleared every test. Was that test processed and given by the same UNC?
The biggest question now is what was the Dolphins’ responsibility in all of this? Should Mike McDaniel have been told it was a head injury? Was he told it was a head injury and that he was cleared? If he wasn’t informed, why?
To what degree is the NFLPA themselves responsible? Did they have a say in who the UNC was? Did they hire him? If so was he vetted?
Of course, everyone wants to know what mistakes were made.
I’m going to venture a little further in this one. Did Sunday have a direct relation to what happened Thursday night? It absolutely could have and it absolutely may not have. The brain is a very fragile entity. The slam of Tua on Thursday created a serious issue that also involved his neck. An MRI will be conducted to find out what exactly could be going on and maybe we can get confirmation of a correlation between the two.
Regardless, it is not a good look for the Miami Dolphins or the NFL and while one doctor has been fired, we have to wonder what else we haven’t heard about yet. Did the Dolphins trainers know it was a head and not a back and withheld that from the coaching staff? Questions, more questions, and more questions. So far, no real answers.
I would come up slightly short of saying this is a validation for those questioning why Tua was out there but it sure looks as though their concerns were merited. I would still caution taking a wait and learn more approach but right now, this isn’t good.
Lastly, we have to wonder how much of this is Tua Tagovailoa’s fault. Did he not disclose his head injury to the staff? Did he have a way to get around the concussion protocols or was it the mistakes by the UNC that allowed Tua to slip through? Tua has to be upfront and honest with his trainers and coaches as well. That leads to more questions.
Many are asking why Mike McDaniel didn’t sit him the 2nd half and for now, we have to trust that McDaniel was given the wrong information about Tua’s situation, maybe hope rather than trust because if it is exposed that McDaniel knew about it and chose otherwise, this is a storm that will not go away anytime soon.
If the Dolphins did know, and by the Dolphins I mean the coaching staff and trainers both, then something needs to be done. If information was withheld from the coaching staff, whoever withheld needs to be held responsible.
The 100% reality is that this is a big problem not just for the Miami Dolphins but the entire NFL as it puts far too much pressure on players to play and teams to get players back into a game. What the mistakes were, weren’t, and who was ultimately responsible, isn’t the problem, it’s the system.