The Most Controversial Concussion Protocols in the NFL

By Lauren Frances Dulatre

Since the creation of the NFL there have been many controversial plays: from controversial things players have done off the field to calls made by referees. From the Snow Plow Game of 1982 to recent concussion protocols, it’s all been done. This season, there has been even more controversies: concussion protocols and even players and coach relations.

So far in the season, numerous players have gotten concussions during rough plays. Important for the health and safety of players, teams should always ensure that athletes pass the concussion protocols before letting them return to the sport. However, that was not the case for  Miami Dolphins player Tua Tagovailoa.

On September 25, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was playing a home game against the Buffalo Bills and got a concussion from being pushed back by Buffalo Bills’s linebacker Matt Milano in the second half. Tagovailoa was forced to sit out the rest of the game after being seen almost tripping over himself jogging back to get into position for the next play.

Yet just four days after his injury, he was seen out on the field again playing against the Cincinnati Bengals. When asked about Tua Tagovailoa playing after what happened in the last game, the Dolphin’s head coach, Mike McDaniel said that Tagovailoa had injured his back instead of his head.

During the game against the Bengals, Tagovailoa had received another brutal head injury again after being slammed down by Josh Tupou in the second quarter of the game. Tagovailoa was seen lying on the floor with his hands up in a spasmic way, which told many fans and medical staff that Tagovailoa had got another concussion. He was then taken off of the field on a carrier and yet again sat out for the rest of the game. 

After the game, numerous NFL stars posted on twitter, and stated how Tagovailoa needs to be protected by his team and cannot play more games with the Dolphins when he still has a concussion. Until October 15, Tagovailoa passed the NFL’s concussion protocol.

On November 13, another player suffered from a massive concussion. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster similarly received a concussion. He was playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he was tackled down by Andrew Cisco. Despite showing clear signs he received a concussion like Tagovailoa, Smith was able to stand up and walk out of the field with the help of medical trainers. Just recently, Smith passed concussion protocols and was seen again back on the field playing against the Los Angeles Rams.

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