Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is set to meet with the NFL and the NFL Players Association on Tuesday as part of the union’s investigation into the handling of the concussion protocol. Tagovailoa was first injured in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, then stumbled as he attempted to move to the huddle following the play. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a concussion that likely would sideline Miami’s starting quarterback.
At halftime, however, Tagovailoa was determined to not have a head injury, but instead had a back issue that locked up after the sack. He stumbled from the spasms, but was feeling well enough to return to the game for the second half as Miami beat the Bills. Before the game was over, the NFL Players Association had already requested an investigation into the concussion protocols used by the Dolphins and the unaffiliated neurologist at the game that allowed Tagovailoa to return to play.
Four days later, and having been continuously checked for any late-developing concussion-like symptoms throughout the week, the Dolphins were back on the field to face the Cincinnati Bengals in a Thursday Night Football game. In the second quarter of the contest, Tagovailoa was sacked and, as he was spun to the ground, his head again bounced off the turf and he immediately began to show signs of a potentially major concussion. He was taken off the field on a backboard and stretcher, then was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical center where he was examined for a head injury, as well as any other issues. He was released that night and traveled home with the team.
The NFLPA, while admitting in a joint statement with the league late last week that no errors in medical or protocol procedures had been found in the early portion of the investigation, terminated the position of the the unaffiliated neurologists who had been at the game.
On Tuesday, the investigation continues, with the Dolphins standing by their assessment that during the Bills game, Tagovailoa did not sustain a head injury, but had a back issue. Head coach Mike McDaniel has repeatedly said the two injuries are two separate events and that the team will be fully transparent with the investigation.
Tagovailoa meeting with the investigators was always an expected step in the process, but now it has officially been reported that Miami’s quarterback is being interviewed. The confirmation of the interview was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.