An NFL and NFLPA investigation determined that Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not display concussion symptoms during last Sunday’s game.
Tagovailoa was able to finish the Christmas Day game against the Packers. On Monday, he was placed on concussion protocol after reporting symptoms to the team. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel later confirmed that the quarterback was in the protocol for the second time this season.
The joint review by the league and players’ association concluded that there were no concussion protocol violations during the game.
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The NFL and NFLPA previously conducted a joint review of the Dolphins’ handling of Tagovailoa’s concussion. The first came after a Week 4 game against the Bengals, when Tagovailoa was knocked unconscious after a Cincinnati Bengals sack. He was carried off the field and then briefly hospitalized.
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«Yeah, I remember the whole night up to the moment I got tackled,» he said of that hit against the Bengals via Yahoo Sports. «After being approached, I don’t remember much from there. Being taken out, I don’t remember. But I do remember things that happened when I was in the ambulance and when I got to the hospital.»
That investigation found that the team had followed the protocol, but also determined that the protocol itself needed to be modified. The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in Tagovailoa’s evaluation earlier in the season was also fired by the players’ association.
Tagovailoa would miss the next two games against the Jets and Vikings after suffering the head injury in Cincinnati. He returned to the field against the Steelers on October 23.
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In a joint statement released Saturday, the NFL and NFLPA said: «The protocol is initiated when a player is impacted in the head and exhibits or reports signs or symptoms suggestive of a concussion. The review established that the symptoms of a concussion were neither exhibited nor reported until the following day, at which time Mr. Tagovailoa was properly assessed and placed on the concussion protocol by team medical personnel.
During the second quarter of the Dolphins’ loss to the Green Bay Packers, Tagovailoa’s head hit the turf after he was tackled from behind. He stayed in the game, but proceeded to throw three interceptions on three straight drives.
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The Dolphins have already ruled out Tagovailoa for Sunday’s game against New England.