The NFL’s Concussion Protocol have been put under the spotlight over the last week due to a pair of hits taken by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. During the Dolphins’ game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Tagovailoa got taken to the ground, got up, and struggled to stay on his feet. While he left the game, he returned and was diagnosed with a back injury. Several days later, the team played the Cincinnati Bengals and Tagovailoa had to be taken off on a stretcher following another hit.
While Miami coach Mike McDaniel defended the team’s process in giving Tagovailoa the green light to play, questions have been asked about whether the NFL’s process to let players play following the sort of injury he suffered against Buffalo. An investigation into how he was able to go back into the game is ongoing, and on Saturday night, the NFL and the NFLPA released a statement indicating that there will be changes coming to the Concussion Protocol soon.
Joint statement from the NFL & NFLPA says the two parties agree that “modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety”
The investigation into Tua Tagovailoa’s handling “remains ongoing” pic.twitter.com/erTHrlSF50
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) October 1, 2022
One of them, per Adam Schefter, is that a player who exhibits instability — like Tagovailoa did against the Bills — he will not be able to return to games. Schefter went on to say we could see this implemented sooner rather than later.
NFLPA and NFL soon are expected to agree to new protocols in which any time any player demonstrates any instability, he is not allowed to return to the game. The rule could go into effect as early as week 5.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 1, 2022