Of course, I’d have preferred this all never happened.
There are a lot of amateur neurologists out there, along with a number of irresponsible actual neurologists out there, that are ravenously opining on the state of Tua’s health. But the doctors that actually examined Tua are the only ones that know all of the facts of his condition.
Is there any reason to dispute their integrity? Weren’t all of the layers of independent specialists installed to prevent players who should be held out from returning to the field?
To the otherwise uninformed, the hit during the Buffalo game seemed to cause a concussion. I certainly figured that’s what happened. But the truth is: some other things can cause the same apparent response, and everyone on the inside (including the independent neurologist) said that it was a back issue. Sure, it was the less usual of a reason for his stumble, but I, like several others even on this site, have had an "opportunity" to feel a lower back pain that practically put me on the floor. So, it happens. And after Tua apparently passed several days of "let’s make sure" evaluations for a concussion, he was completely cleared to play, assuming his back and ankle were good to go. Why was there a continued issue after that?
And then the suplex put on Tua during the Cincinnati game produced its own "fencing" response. His back issue from the Buffalo game did not result in a sack on Thursday, c’mon. It was a neck and spine related injury response and very scary. But thankfully, the X-rays and MRI are all negative. He is under the league’s protocol and has a total of ten days off before his possible return against the Jets, assuming he passes the requisite tests.
Since I do not have any actual facts to lean on to refute what we are being told, to me, these are simply two unfortunate incidents, made all the more unfortunate by how close they happened to be to each other. There is a (contractually negotiated) process in place to handle them and that process is being followed with more transparency than the HIPPA laws probably allow.
So why did Rex Ryan (or Tretter, or anyone else) grab a microphone to opine on how he "knows" there was a concussion during the Buffalo game and then hint at its impact on the Cincinnati game? The easy answer is "spotlight hunting", but am I missing something?
And if Tua passes every test and is cleared to play against the Jets, are the Dolphins allowed to play him? Or is there too much public opinion shaming going on? Would the Dolphins be required to risk losing the Jets game (a real possibility with Teddy playing) all for the sake of doing public penance for a sin never committed?
First, and foremost, Tua’s health is the focus, but if he is OK, then he’s OK. Is there any more to it than that?
Get well soon, Tua. And, of course, Go Dolphins!