NFLPA terminates neurotrauma consultant who checked Tua Tagovailoa for concussion: reports

Dolphins have said Tagovailoa passed concussion protocol in Week 3

The NFL Players Association terminated the neurotrauma consultant who checked Tua Tagovailoa for a concussion Sunday after it was found he made "several mistakes" in his evaluation of the quarterback, according to multiple reports.

The Dolphins quarterback briefly left their Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills after taking a hit and wobbling to the turf

Many believed Tagovailoa had suffered a concussion on the play, but the team said he passed concussion protocol. 

Tagovailoa said he suffered a hyperextended back, leading to the fall.

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Medical staffers tend to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins after an injury during the second quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Medical staffers tend to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins after an injury during the second quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (Andy Lyons/Getty Image)

The fall, though, was enough for the NFLPA to investigate. 

Before Thursday's game, the league said it had "every indication" the team followed protocol Sunday.

Tagovailoa was the victim of another similar tackle Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. This time, it was confirmed he suffered head and neck injuries as well as a concussion. His hands curled up on the field, and he was taken to a hospital. He was released shortly after and flew back to Miami with the team following the game.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is examined during the first half of the team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. 

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is examined during the first half of the team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati.  (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

NFL Network reports that the consultant and the Dolphins' team physician were interviewed Friday during the NFLPA's investigation.

TUA TAGOVAILOA'S HOSPITALIZATION SPARKS SUPPORT FROM NFL WORLD, CRITICISM OVER HANDLING OF LAST WEEK'S INJURY

Thursday's injuries led to significant backlash, with many saying Tagovailoa should not have played and was in danger of a serious injury.

The quarterback tweeted Friday he was feeling "much better," but the team said there is no timetable for his return.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first half of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first half of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)

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The Dolphins declined to comment on the consultant's termination and what mistakes were made. The NFL and NFLPA released the following joint statement:

"The joint NFL-NFLPA investigation into the application of the Concussion Protocol involving Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains ongoing. Therefore, we have not made any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations. 

"The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety. The NFLPA’s Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term ‘Gross Motor Instability’ and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.

"The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety. This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play it for the past twelve seasons."