NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in the stadium when Tua Tagovailoa suffered a scary injury last night.
Goodell was in attendance at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati to see the Bengals beat the Miami Dolphins 27-15.
But the game was marred by a nasty looking concussion suffered by Dolphins quarterback Tagovailoa.
The third-year signal caller hit the back of his head on the turf following a sack by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou.
Once on his back, Tagovailoa could be seen with his eyes closed and his hands up by his face in what some have suggested was a fencing response.
According to Healthline, this response occurs “When a person experiences an impact that’s strong enough to cause traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion, their arms often go into an unnatural position.
“This position — forearms extended or flexed, usually in the air — follows the impact and is known as the fencing response position. It lasts up to several seconds after the collision.”
Tagovailoa subsequently left the game on a stretcher and was transported to a local hospital by ambulance.
The Dolphins reported that he was conscious and had movement in his extremities, and he was ultimately discharged that evening.
Thankfully, Tagovailoa was able to fly home with the team, although in a neck brace, and is set to undergo an MRI on Friday.
This came just four days after Tagovailoa suffered what the Dolphins described as a back injury against the Buffalo Bills.
However, with Tagovailoa seen stumbling on the field after a knock to the head similar to that on Thursday night, many have suggested he shouldn’t have been allowed to return to the field on Sunday, nor should he have played on Thursday night.
Neuroscientist and founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation Chris Nowinski Ph.D. took to Twitter on Thursday to express his shock at Tua’s injury – and the decision to let him play on TNF.
Captioning a video of the incident, he wrote: “This is a disaster. Pray for Tua. Fire the medical staffs and coaches.
” I predicted this and I hate that I am right. Two concussions in 5 days can kill someone.
“This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022.”
Following Tagovailoa’s appearance and resulting injury on Thursday, the Dolphins medical staff and the NFL have faced criticism.
Retweeting a video of Tagovailoa stumbling on Sunday, former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III said: “Tua 4 days ago. The Dolphins will have to answer for this.”
ESPN’s Linda Cohn tweeted: “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in the building in Cincinnati and saw what happened to Tua.
“Sure would have been nice for Goodell to think it was important enough to comment regarding the way the QB’s health and safety was handled the last few days and NFL policy. #Tua”
The NFLPA’s executive director DeMaurice Smith was also quick to respond to Tagovailoa’s injury.
Smith put out a statement via the Amazon broadcasting team that reads: “We will pursue every legal option, including making referrals against the doctors to licensing agencies and the team that is obligated to keep our players safe.”
NFLPA president J.C. Tretter also made his feelings on the matter clear via a tweet on Friday in which he said “we are all outraged by what we have seen the last several days and scared for the safety of one of our brothers.
“What everyone saw both Sunday and last night were “no-go” symptoms within our concussion protocols.”
The league’s chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills told NFL reporter Judy Battista that “We’re still doing a very active review of the entire situation.
Sills continued: “We do that in conjunction with the Players Association, and that review process will entail both groups speaking with everyone involved…
“The purpose of that review is to ensure the concussion protocol was followed.”
Sill went on to say that “there are very serious consequences if the protocol was determined not to have been followed.”