JC Tretter, the NFL Players Association president and former Cleveland Browns center, said the symptoms Tua Tagovailoa displayed during Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills were a “no-go” under protocols and what ultimately led to an investigation of the Miami Dolphins’ handling of his concussion evaluation.
Tretter, who was re-elected to a second term as NFLPA president in March, released a lengthy statement to social media Friday following Tagovailoa’s hospitalization.
“Our job as the NFLPA is to take every possible measure to get the facts and hold those responsible accountable. We need to figure out how and why the decisions were made last Sunday to allow a player with a ‘no-go’ symptom back on the field,” Tretter said.
NFLPA EXECUTIVE REITERATES ‘PLAYER CARE ABOVE ALL’ AFTER TUA TAGOVAILOA INJURY
“Until we have an objective and validated method of diagnosing brain injury, we have to do everything possible, including amending the protocols, to further reduce the potential of human error. A failure in medical judgment is a failure of the protocols when it comes to the well being of our players.”
Tagovailoa hit his head on the ground in the first half of Sunday’s game, and he struggled to stand on his own and stumbled on the field. He was eventually cleared to return to the game and explained that the pain he was dealing with was in his back.
Head coach Mike McDaniel defended the team’s handling of the situation and said it properly followed the league’s concussion protocols.
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But the decisions made in Sunday’s game came under heavy scrutiny Thursday when, in an alarming scene, Tagovailoa lay on the ground frozen following a hard sack.
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“I don’t think that an injury from last week made him fall the same way this week,” McDaniel said Thursday. “But, yes, I do not have any, absolutely zero patience for or will ever put a player in position for them to be in harm’s way. That is not what I’m about at all, and no outcome of a game would ever influence me being irresponsible as the head coach of the football team.”
The NFLPA said its investigation into the matter is ongoing.
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