The NFL and NFL Players’ Association says Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not show or report symptoms of a concussion until the day after he played with one against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
In a statement released Saturday after reviewing the matter this week, the NFL and NFLPA say: ‘The joint review determined the (concussion) protocol was not triggered.
‘The protocol is initiated when a player receives an impact to the head and exhibits or reports signs or symptoms suggestive of a concussion,’ the statement said.
‘The review established that symptoms of a concussion were neither exhibited nor reported until the following day at which time the team medical personnel appropriately evaluated and placed Mr. Tagovailoa in the concussion protocol.’
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The NFL and NFLPA reviewed the matter after Tagovailoa was placed in the protocol on Monday, following the Packers game in which he threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, leading to a Dolphins loss.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Wednesday that Tagovailoa sustained a concussion, marking at least his second in 13 weeks.
Tagovailoa’s first concussion was sustained during a Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. He also hit the back of his head in a game against the Buffalo Bills four days earlier, but was cleared to finish the Bills game.
The NFL and NFLPA investigated into both matters where Tagovailoa sustained a concussion this season, saying the Dolphins and medical professionals followed the protocol steps.
The NFL and NFLPA also added the term ataxia, which means abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordinator or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue, as a no-go symptom of the protocol after its first Tagovailoa investigation.
Tagovailoa remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and will not play in Miami’s next game Sunday on the road against the New England Patriots.
Veteran Teddy Bridgewater will start for the Dolphins in Tagovailoa’s place.
Tagovailoa helped Miami race out to an 8-3 record this season before a winless December has the Dolphins at 8-7, needing a win against the Patriots and a loss by the New York Jets in Seattle to clinch a playoff berth this season.
The Dolphins’ hope to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016, and just the third time in the last 20 years.
The Dolphins will host the Jets in the season finale on Jan. 8.