Does the NFL Concussion Protocol Work?

By Beau Cline

Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins star rookie quarterback, just suffered 2 serious head injuries following week 3 of NFL games. You may be asking, “2 head injuries in one match, how is that even possible?” Quite frankly it shouldn’t be possible, as the NFL has a concussion protocol that is meant to be followed after a player takes a big hit in a game. During the week 3 match against the Bangles, Tua took a huge hit from 6 ‘3, 340 lb Josh Tupou, a defensive tackle. He was instantly knocked onto his back where he was stuck flailing his hands awkwardly.

From there the Dolphins medical team stretched Tua off the field where a UNC (Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant) put him on concussion protocol. The NFL’s concussion protocol was introduced to help prevent severe injuries resulting from a concussion. Once a player is placed on concussion protocol a player must be cleared by an independent neurologist consultant that comes with each team. 

Tua Tagovailoa was cleared from the hospital soon after the match and flew home with the team that night. Just 4 days before this hit, Tua received another hit that put him on concussion protocol. Tagovailoa was on the other end of a head-on hit, in which he exhibited concussion symptoms right after. Right after the match he was cleared by the teams positions, and UNC. This would explain his wobbly legs and pain in his back at the start of the match against Cincinnati. Miami has since fired the physicians that cleared Tua for play. Mike McDainel, the Dolphins coach, has stated many times that he was cleared by multiple medical specialists before the game on Thursday and that he did not have a head injury.

This isn’t the first case of the NFL’s concussion protocol failing them. It has been a major issue for a long time now, seeing the dangerous nature of football. After seeing the rookie star getting a career threatening hit, people are ready for a change to come, people all over are insisting that the NFL re-look at the concussion protocol to help prevent these injuries in the future.

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