NFL and NFLPA Make Concussion Protocol Changes to Improve Player Safety After Tua Injury

NFL and NFLPA will make changes to concussion protocol “in the coming days” following Tua Tagovailoa’s injury to improve player safety … however, no conclusions have been drawn regarding medical errors or violations in the incident

  • Tua Tagovailoa stayed in the game last Sunday after suffering a blow to the head
  • And although the injury was diagnosed as a back problem, others were dubious
  • He was allowed to play for Bengals on Thursday but suffered another head injury
  • Critics have blasted the decision to let QB play Thursday night
  • The NFL and NFLPA have now announced that they are working on changing the protocols
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news from DailyMail.com

The NFL and NFLPA have announced they are working together to change concussion protocols and expect to make changes in the “coming days.”

The announcement came after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hospitalized with a concussion in Thursday’s NFL game against the Bengals after ending his side’s win over the Bills last Sunday, despite failing in the first half suffered a brutal hit.

The decision to vacate the quarterback and allow him to play the Bengals drew criticism, and the league and players’ association have now agreed that changes to concussion protocol are needed to improve player safety.

The joint investigation into the use of the concussion protocol with Tagovailoa is ongoing, and the statement says no conclusions have yet been reached on medical errors or protocol violations.

The statement released Saturday night read, “The joint NFL-NFLPA investigation into the use of concussion protocol involving Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is ongoing. Therefore, we have not made any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations.

“The NFL and NFLPA agree that changes to concussion protocol are needed to improve player safety.

The NFL and NFLPA announced they are working together to change concussion protocols

The NFL and NFLPA announced they are working together to change concussion protocols

Tua Tagovailoa stayed down in the game against the Bills after his head hit the turf

Tua Tagovailoa stayed down in the game against the Bills after his head hit the turf

He was stopped by his teammates after falling again, but he passed the concussion

He was stopped by his teammates after falling again, but he passed the concussion

“The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already entered into discussions about the use of the term “gross motor instability,” and we expect to make changes to the protocol in the coming days.” be based on what has been learned so far in the review process.

“The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the independent neurotrauma consultants who pour their time and expertise into our game solely to improve player safety. This program has made our game safer for the athletes who have been playing it for the past 12 seasons.’

Tagovailoa ended the Dolphins’ win over the Bills after receiving a brutal first-half hit when his head hit the turf and he fell back to the ground after getting up.

Tagovailova suffered a head injury when the Bengals' Josh Tupou tackled him on Thursday

Tagovailova suffered a head injury when the Bengals’ Josh Tupou tackled him on Thursday

The quarterback's hands seemed to go into fencing reaction after his head hit the turf

The quarterback’s hands seemed to go into fencing reaction after his head hit the turf

The severity of his injury last weekend against the Bills was compounded on Thursday against the Bengals when he left the field on a stretcher after suffering another brutal blow to the head.

It was then that Tagovailoa was diagnosed with a concussion and hospitalized (he was discharged Thursday night and flown home with the team), lending credence to the idea that he shouldn’t have played in the Dolphins’ Week 4 matchup.

The quarterback was officially diagnosed with a back problem on Sunday and it is claimed concussion protocols were followed.

Tagovailoa was discharged on a stretcher on Thursday after suffering a second severe blow in four days

Tagovailoa was discharged on a stretcher on Thursday after suffering a second severe blow in four days

The League’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allen Sills told DailyMail.com: “Obviously we’re always concerned when one of our players suffers an injury – of any kind – and it’s our aim to prevent as many injuries as possible and in any case quickly diagnose any that do occur injuries and treat them appropriately.

“I am a neurosurgeon and have spent my entire career treating people with brain and spinal cord injuries – both athletes and non-athletes – and this has been my passion and practice and my livelihood for many decades. So I’m totally dedicated to this issue and the idea that the NFL can and will be a leader in this area in the entire sport.

“We’ve made a number of changes to our concussion protocol…we take a very detailed and intense look at ourselves, our outcomes and our procedures each year to get better. And we’ve gotten better and I think we’ll keep getting better.

The NFL's chief medical officer has insisted the league will

The NFL’s chief medical officer has insisted the league will “learn” from the Tua situation

“We will also get better from this incident. That is the nature of medicine. As a doctor, I certainly don’t do the same thing today as I did five or ten years ago. This quest for improvement will continue.”

The NFLPA announced Wednesday that they were reviewing the Miami incident, and NFL EVP of Communications Jeff Miller told reporters the review is expected to take a week or two.

The medical adviser who cleared Tagovailoa at last Sunday’s concussion exam has reportedly been fired.

The team reported their quarterback suffered a back injury, and he was acquitted by the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) on the night — but ProFootballTalk now report that the doctor has now been dismissed.

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Maureen Mackey

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