NFL receives backlash concerning injury protocol

SALTY TUA: Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ready to go on game day. The Spun

Hannah Eberle | A&E Editor

October 14, 2022

On September 29th, Tua Tagovailoa suffered an alarming head injury while facing the Cincinnati Bengals. The beloved quarterback was taken down by a Bengal defender. On impact with the ground, it was clear Tagovailoa was suffering from some type of head trauma. NFL fans watched as the young star reached for his face with fingers splayed in different awkward directions signaling some neurological damage. 

Just four days earlier, the Dolphins played the New York Buffalo Bills where Tagovailoa suffered from another detrimental injury. After hitting his head he stumbled to catch his balance until doctors met him on the field. This incident has raised speculation regarding NFL injury protocols.

PAINFUL INJURY: Tua receiving medical attention after a second major injury this season. CNN

Once they witnessed the second accident, NFL fans were shocked and enraged. The Miami Dolphins quickly took action by firing the doctor that cleared Tagovailoa, allowing him to play, but fans still speculated about the intentions coming from the rest of the staff.

“It’s pretty stupid,” said senior Andrew Boratynec. “I mean the guy couldn’t even walk off the field the previous game and they cleared him to play a few days later.” 

As of now, Tagovailoa has returned to the practice field but has not passed the concussion protocol in order to play.  The Dolphins staff claim that they will not risk the player’s health again, but can fans really trust that? 

Tagovailoa’s recent injury is just one of many poorly handled injuries in NFL history. These large-scale football teams are infamous for going to extreme lengths to get their players back on the field. From ignoring symptoms of head trauma to abusing drugs, NFL coaches will seemingly do anything to keep the game going.  Although it seems as if Tagovailoa’s second injury could have been avoided, no one can be certain.

“I think the NFL needs to be careful when approaching injuries, but it’s also just a part of the game,” said sophomore Kaden Raymond. “Unfortunately, intense injuries like this one are a risk that all football players take.”

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