The Miami Dolphins were off to a rather hot start this season, and were undefeated heading into a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night, but a shocking and worrisome injury in that game could threaten not only the rest of the season, but the future of the entire franchise as well.
Dolphin’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, took a hard shot to what appeared to be the back of his head, and then stumbled as he attempted to get back into the huddle. This had many onlookers suggesting that Tua was concussed, but he was soon back in the game after it was declared that he had merely tweaked his back.
This was Tua Tagovailoa 4 days ago against the Buffalo Bills, no doctor in their right mind should have cleared him to play tonight against the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/XQATk2UR5R
— 𝗗rew (@MambaSzn24) September 30, 2022
Now, 4 days later, and Tua again went down – this time with some extremely frightening symptoms.
Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field near the end of the first half of the Dolphins’ 27-15 “Thursday Night Football” loss to the Bengals with head and neck injuries. He was sacked by Josh Tupou, and his head forcefully slammed against the ground as he was brought down. After the hit, his fingers could be seen crooked as he remained on the ground, which broadcasters Kirk Herbstreit and Al Michael said is likely a result of neurological shock.
We should warn you that the following video may be disturbing to some.
This is a disaster. Pray for Tua. Fire the medical staffs and coaches. I predicted this and I hate that I am right. Two concussions in 5 days can kill someone. This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022. pic.twitter.com/D8S8eEbgda
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 30, 2022
The incident had fans and sports analysts furious, with many suggesting that the Dolphin’s medical and coaching staffs should be investigated for their alleged negligence.
Immediately after that game, on Sunday, the NFL Players Association launched an investigation into the processes that allowed him to return. After Tagovailoa exited Thursday night’s game, the NFLPA again expressed their ongoing investigation into Tagovailoa’s injury, and subsequent clearance, from Sunday’s game.
“Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission,” the NFLPA tweeted Thursday night. “Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”
Others seemed to predict trouble.
Before kickoff, Ph.D. Chris Nowinski, CEO of Concussion Legacy Foundation, tweeted “If Tua takes the field tonight, it’s a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL. If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they must know this isn’t right.”
The Bengals snapped the Dolphins’ undefeated streak on Thursday night, winning the game 27-15.