Former NFL players urge Tua Tagovailoa to end season amid latest concussion scare

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On Monday, the Miami Dolphins announced that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been placed on the NFL’s concussion protocol, a shocking announcement after he played the entirety of Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers without apparent injury.

The news raised immediate concerns about Tagovailoa’s health after the Dolphins quarterback was hospitalized in September with a second head injury in two games. Several former NFL players working in the media urged the league, the Dolphins and Tagovailoa on Monday to ensure he doesn’t play again this season.

Former NFL quarterbacks Steve Young and Robert Griffin III discussed the matter with former defensive tackle Booger McFarland on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown.” All called for more caution in the NFL regarding head injuries, while Griffin and McFarland directly called for Tagovailoa to shut him down.

“Tua Tagovailoa shouldn’t play more this season if the NFL is serious about health, safety and concussions,” McFarland said.

Griffin, who saw his own career stunted after playing while injured in a playoff game, urged the NFL to prioritize Tagovailoa as a person over Tagovailoa as a player.

“When we talk about these head injuries, there’s nothing to joke about,” said Griffin. “You’re going to put the person before the player. I’m more concerned about Tua and his longevity with life than whether he’s going to play on Sunday.

“He is unlikely to play for the rest of the season.”

Griffin reiterated his sentiment on social media.

Young did not explicitly ask Tagovailoa to end his season. But he called for more safeguards from the NFL, acknowledging the medical challenges that come with evaluating brain injuries.

“The final frontier of medical science is the brain,” Young said. … “We as gamers don’t understand or have any idea how much risk is involved with our heads. We don’t know, and medical science can’t really tell us. In the end, we’re out there every day risking something. that we cannot assess.

“So Tua is going to jump right back in there. … I recognize how difficult this is for the NFL and how much is at stake. If we’re going to take this seriously, we have to be able to test someone before the game, and they’re out of the game.” game.”

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 13: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins watches before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Hard Rock Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Tua Tagovailoa’s long-term brain health is a cause for concern. (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Young, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, retired in 2000 after repeated concussions raised the specter of permanent brain damage. Since then, he has frequently advocated for better treatment and awareness of brain injuries in football.

Meanwhile, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanual Acho joined Griffin and McFarland in calling for an end to Tagovailoa’s season. while talking in FS1🇧🇷

“You have to close Tua for the season,” Acho said. “Period. No talking, no arguing, no second thoughts. You have to shut it down for the season. …

“It’s better to be safe than sorry. The Dolphins have already had regrets once this year.”

In “sorry”, Acho referenced Miami’s Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which saw Tagovailoa leave the game on a stretcher in a spooky scene that ended with the Dolphins quarterback in the hospital. A second head injury in two weeks was to blame. A week before, he suffered what the Dolphins initially assessed as a head injury against the Buffalo Bills before being cleared to return and finish the game. The NFLPA eventually fired a doctor who was involved in clearing Tagovailoa to return, and the league has since updated its concussion protocol.

the back of Tagovailoa’s head bounced off the grass that day against the Bills, as well as did on Sunday against the Packers🇧🇷 He received medical clearance the following week to play the Bengals and ended up in the hospital. Hence the heightened concern for the Dolphins’ quarterback, who now appears to have suffered three head injuries during one NFL season.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are at the height of their AFC playoff race, with games remaining against the New England Patriots and New York Jets that will determine their postseason rankings. Tagovailoa’s status for Sunday against New England was unclear on Monday.

The pressure will be high for Tagovailoa to play if he is deemed healthy. But concerns about your long-term health may eventually outweigh that.