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Doctor who cleared Tua Tagovailoa fired by NFLPA

Tua Tagovailoa ready to throw

Sep 11, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) watches prior throwing the football during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The NFLPA has taken action against the doctor who cleared Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return to last Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

The NFLPA exercised its right to fire the independent doctor who was involved in the decision to allow Tagovailoa to return to Sunday’s game. Tagovailoa returned despite looking unstable after taking a big hit.

The independent doctors employed by the NFL are approved by both the league and the union. By withdrawing their support, the NFLPA can essentially fire the doctor in this instance.

The process surrounding Tagovailoa has been scrutinized heavily after the quarterback suffered a concussion while playing Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite his wobbly reaction to last Sunday’s hit, Tagovailoa returned to that game, with doctors saying he had suffered a back injury.

The NFL and NFLPA are investigating to ensure that the protocols were followed, though the NFL has publicly voiced confidence in the process and said Tagovailoa passed concussion checks and never exhibited any of the “no-go” symptoms that would have immediately ruled him out. The NFLPA is clearly more skeptical, and this move reinforces that.


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