There was a concerning moment involving Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday when he took a late hit in the second quarter, got back up and stumbled his way back toward the huddle before being removed from the game.
Tagovailoa was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater for the remainder of the drive, and was declared questionable to return with a head injury, as he was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.
It was a bit of a surprise when he returned for the Dolphins’ first possession of the second half, as he helped lead Miami to a 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Shortly after the game ended, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported that that NFL Players' Association was launching an investigation into the Dolphins’ handling of Tagovailoa’s concussion evaluation.
Per Pelissero: “Under the 2020 CBA, the NFLPLA, NFL Management Council or any player has the right (independently or collectively) to bring forward a complaint about an alleged failure to follow concussion protocol, to be investigated and resolved by the union and management council."
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeted during the game that Tagovailoa’s back locked up after the hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano, which led to him wobbling. The Dolphins quarterback said after the game that he felt he hyperextended his back.
However, the Dolphins announced, and tweeted from their official social media account, that he had a head injury. So, why exactly, would the Dolphins initially announce it as a head injury if it was really about his back?
Player safety and concussion protocol has intensified in recent years, and there certainly seem to be questions worth answering on if Tagovailoa really had a potential head injury, and if so, were the right protocols followed?