The NFL Players Association has fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who was involved in clearing Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return to play, according to multiple reports.
NBC Sports, CBS Sports and ESPN, citing unnamed sources, reported the move was made even as an official investigation into the matter of Monday’s injury and diagnosis remains ongoing.
NBC Sports reported the players union lost confidence in the consultant given the impairment of Tagovailoa was apparent.
ESPN and CBS reported several mistakes were found in the consultant’s evaluation.
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Tagovailoa was evaluated for a concussion during Monday’s 21-19 Miami victory over Buffalo after the back of his head struck the ground and he collapsed to the ground.
The star quarterback cleared to remain in the game, team officials later saying he suffered a beck injury.
Tagovailoa was also cleared to play on Friday against Cincinnati in a 27-15 loss to the Bengals where his head struck the turf again after being tackled in the second quarter by Bengals defender Josh Tupou.
Tagovailoa stayed on the ground for more than 10 minutes before being taken off the field in a stretcher to a nearby hospital with a concussion and a neck injury.
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The Dolphins said Tagovailoa is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and there is no timetable for his return.
But many questioned why he was even allowed to play at all after the head injury against Buffalo.
The NFL’s top medical officials said Tagovailoa passed daily medical evaluations ahead of Friday’s game and the Dolphins said he passed multiple concussion evaluations that included one at halftime of the Buffalo contest.
The NFL Players Association requested a review of the concussion procedures used to evaluate Tagovailoa.
NFL concussion protocols allow players who demonstrate motor instability to return to competition only if the team physician, in consultation with the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, determine there was no neurological cause to the instability.