The joint review conducted by the NFL and the NFL Players Association found no violations of their protocols in the handling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s second diagnosed concussion this season.
The league and the players union said in a joint statement Saturday that their review “established that symptoms of a concussion were neither exhibited nor reported” until the day after the Dolphins’ game against the Green Bay Packers, “at which time the team medical personnel appropriately evaluated and placed Mr. Tagovailoa in the concussion protocol.”
Tagovailoa played the entire Christmas Day game in Miami Gardens, Fla. He could be seen on video hitting his head on the turf after being hit on a play. Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday that he had recommended Monday, after reviewing video of the game, that Tagovailoa consult with doctors. Tagovailoa was diagnosed with a concussion, McDaniel said Wednesday.
Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is expected to start the Dolphins’ game Sunday against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., in place of Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa missed two games in October after being diagnosed with a concussion. He was taken from the field on a stretcher and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital after a hit during a Sept. 29 game in Cincinnati. Four days before that game, doctors had cleared Tagovailoa to return to a Sept. 25 game against the Buffalo Bills in Miami Gardens after the quarterback stumbled following a first-half hit.
The NFL and NFLPA conducted a previous joint review of that case. They concluded that their concussion protocols were followed “as written.” But they also acknowledged the outcome was “not what was intended,” and they agreed to a modification to the protocols, eliminating an exception that allowed Tagovailoa to reenter the game against the Bills.