Tuesday, June 18, 2024

NFL and NFLPA announce they will make changes to concussion protocol after Tua Tagovailoa incident

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY Sports

The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement on Saturday night indicating that the league’s concussion protocol will be changed in the wake of the controversy surrounding the handling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s recent injuries. 

“The NFL and NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety,” the statement read. “The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.

“The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety. This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play it for the past twelve seasons.”

The statement was released just hours after it was confirmed by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones that the NFLPA had exercised its right to terminate the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant who was involved in the handling of Tagovailoa’s injury during the Dolphins’ Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. Jones reported that the NFLPA made the decision after discovering “several mistakes” made by the doctor in its view. 

The review of the application of the protocol in Tagovailoa’s case, which is being conducted jointly by the NFL and NFLPA, is still ongoing, and as such no specifics regarding what mistakes were made have been released. The joint statement indicated that “any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations” have not been made. 

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