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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

NFL defends Tua Tagovailoa evaluation process

Tua Tagovailoa at a press conference

Oct 15, 2021; Ware, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) at a press conference at the Hanbury Marriott Manor and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins and NFL are under a great deal of scrutiny after Tua Tagovailoa suffered a frightening head injury on Thursday night, but a league official says the quarterback was checked for concussion symptoms every day leading up to the game.

NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills spoke with Judy Battista of NFL.com on Friday about the process that led to Tagovailoa being cleared to play against the Cincinnati Bengals. Sills said the NFL is working with the NFL Players Association to determine if there were any violations of the league’s concussion protocol after Tagovailoa returned to last Sunday’s game despite looking very wobbly after a hit. While Sills said he did not want to make any definitive statements about the situation until the review is complete, he confirmed that Tagovailoa was checked daily for concussion symptoms after the incident in Week 3.

“I know that he was checked after the game. I know that he was checked the following day,” Sills said. “Every player who gets an examination on game day gets a follow-up exam the following day, even if that (initial) exam was negative. That’s part of our concussion protocol. And I know that this player was checked every day leading up to the game.”

Sills added that there would be “very serious consequences” if the review determines that the concussion protocol was not followed properly. However, he did note that Tagovailoa did not meet any of the “no-go criteria” when he suffered his injury against the Bills. Sills said the “no-go” signs are the fencing posture, which Tagovailoa exhibited on Thursday night, and amnesia or confusion.

The NFL Players Association disagrees. NFLPA president JC Tretter released a statement on Friday saying the union is “outraged” by what took place with Tagovailoa over the past week. The NFLPA believes Tagovailoa did exhibit “no-go” symptoms last week in addition to in Thursday’s game.

Several powerful voices from the NFL community blasted the Dolphins during Thursday night’s game. Head coach Mike McDaniel defended the process that led to Tagovailoa being cleared.

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