After last night’s concussion to Tua, in a game he shouldn’t have suited up for, the NFL needs to punish the Dolphins for letting it happen.
Concussions are extremely serious and the long-term effects are life-changing and often result in death. Each year more and more former NFL players are taking their lives due to CTE, which comes from repetitive head trauma (Concussion). Not only does it seem like NFL doesn’t care about concussions, they just gave evidence to that point.
Last Sunday, Tua Tagovailoa was sacked and his head hit the ground. He immediately grabbed his head and got up very slowly. After taking a few steps, Tua’s legs started to buckle and he was about to fall over. He then tried to take more steps and had to be held up by teammates so he wouldn’t fall over. These are clear signs that a player has a concussion. It seems everyone but the Dolphins knew that. Later, Tua was back on the field like nothing had happened, he had passed his team’s “concussion protocol” and was cleared by an independent neurologist that was hired by the NFL.
Former NFL players flocked to social media when Tua went back into the game to show their outrage that he was cleared to play. After the game, it was then reported that Tua didn’t suffer a head injury but instead a back and ankle injury. While most of the people watching the game aren’t doctors, anyone with knowledge of concussions knows that he had a concussion, not the back injury the team claimed he did.
The importance of the Dolphins saying he didn’t have one, was because if he did he would have to pass protocol in a short week to play on Thursday. That wouldn’t have been possible, that’s why the Dolphins lied. You are more susceptible to more severe concussions after you get one, especially if you haven’t recovered fully.
The worst case for the NFL was for Tua to get another concussion on Thursday night, a game he shouldn’t have suited up for. The worst did come true for the NFL.
Tua was sacked and thrown back and his head smashed against the field. He tensed up and he went into what is called a fencing response, where the body locks up while you are unconscious to prevent the brain from being injured more. Tua stayed on the ground for 10 minutes before being loaded on a spine board and placed on a stretcher. His facemask was also removed before he was placed in the ambulance and sent to the hospital.
As of now, it is reported that Tua only has a concussion and flew back with the team but the fact that he played in the first place was disgusting. For a league that says they care about player safety so much, how did the league-assigned neurologist clear Tua to come back on Sunday? Why did all the former players say on social media that Tua had a concussion on Sunday and shouldn’t have come back or played Thursday?
What is it going to take for the NFL to finally take it seriously and care about these players during their careers and after? It is clear all they care about is money, as to them the players are replaceable they just need to play. How many more former players are going to have to die from concussions in order for the NFL to take it seriously? The NFL needs to be investigated as well as the Dolphins and both need to be punished for almost killing Tua.