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Dolphins make the right call on Tua Tagovailoa, but a week late

The Miami Dolphins finally make the right call with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, one that is several days overdue at this point.

ESPN broke some news on Monday that shouldn’t have been “breaking”: Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel officially ruled out quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a Week 5 game versus the New York Jets.

Tagovailoa is still in concussion protocol, according to ESPN, and is expected to take the next week to continue his recovery after a frightening injury during Week 4. Tagovailoa seemed to exhibit troubling “neurological symptoms“, according to neurologists who spoke with Yahoo! Sports.

It is suspected that Tagovailoa could have possibly experienced a concussion during a Week 3 match versus the Buffalo Bills, which is why the NFLPA decided to fire the independent neurologist who helped the Dolphins clear Tagovailoa for a return during the Bills game.

“We are all outraged by what we have seen the last several days and scared for the safety of one of our brothers,” wrote union president JC Tretter. “What everyone saw both Sunday and last night were ‘no-go’ symptoms within our concussion protocols. We need to figure out how and why the decisions were made last Sunday to allow a player with a ‘no-go’ symptom back on the field.”

The NFL and NFLPA have promised to fulfill Tretter’s assurance of an investigation, with the organizations issuing a joint letter clarifying their plans in their “ongoing” investigation.

“We anticipate changes to the [concussion] protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process,” the joint statement reads.

This flurry of discussion took place on Friday, a day after Thursday Night Football viewers saw Tagovailoa carted off the field displaying neurological injury symptoms. On Monday, the Dolphins finally confirmed Tagovailoa would not play, which seems to be a slow response considering the situation.

Dolphins slow to confirm that Tua Tagovailoa should indeed sit out of Week 5

While Tagovailoa was initially declared to not have suffered a concussion in his Week 3 game versus the Bills, the “fencing response” seen during Week 4 has caused some to be concerned about Second Impact Syndrome, or SIS.

This occurs when a person experiences two concussions in a short time period, which makes the shortened gap between a Sunday and Thursday football game even more concerning.

The risk of fatality with SIS is why NFL Concussion Protocol was created in the first place, as it’s no secret how neurologically damaging the game of football has been to so many athletes over the years. It’s also why any perceived failure to identify the first possible concussion, which allowed Tua to place himself at risk for SIS upon a second concussion, makes this investigation important to the health and safety of all NFL players.

It’s also why the Dolphins should have responded a little sooner with their decision to bench Tagovailoa. Even if he reports that he is feeling well, he is at the center of a concussion controversy, and his health is being called into question as the league investigates how he was initially diagnosed.

Now is definitely not the time to put Tagovailoa under center. He did have a concussion in Week 4, and he did exhibit fencing symptoms. That alone is enough reason to give him ample time to heal.

 



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