Pascrell demands answers from NFL on head injuries to Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa


U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) is demanding answers from the NFL on head injuries to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who appeared to sustain head trauma in Sunday’s game before a devastating hit sent him to the hospital last night.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Photo via Twitter.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I, like millions of Americans, am disturbed about what happened in Thursday night’s contest between the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins,” Pascrell wrote in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dolphins Principal Owner Stephen Ross.

“The concussion to Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on national television, occurring just four days after he was injured in a game, demands immediate answers from the Miami Dolphins organization and the National Football League.”

Tagovailoa, who guided the Fins to a 3-0 start this year, briefly left the game against the Bills last week after taking a big hit that rattled him.

He returned and led the team to an impressive 21-19 victory, with Head Coach Mike McDaniel indicating it was a back injury that forced his star QB out of the game and that he had cleared concussion protocols.

Last night against the Bengals, Tagovailoa’s head bounced off the ground as he was sacked near the tail end of the second quarter, remaining on the ground until medical staff had him stretchered off the field.

He was diagnosed with a concussion at a local Cincinnati hospital and traveled home with the team after the 27-15 loss, with the offense sputtering with backup QB Teddy Bridgewater at the helm.

The organization tweeted that Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all his extremities after the incident.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is investigating the incident to see if concussion protocols were violated or not.

Pascrell, the founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, also asked if independent medical professional cleared Tagovailoa to play on Thursday, what measures were taken to ensure his safety, and if the NFL will cooperate with the NFLPA probe.

“Mr. Tagovailoa’s injury on live television raises grave questions about the progress that the NFL and its teams purported to have made on the issue and how seriously the NFL is taking it’s commitment to player safety. I hope you will appreciate this situation in front of you. This moment demands answers – and actions,” his letter concluded.

The situations has been panned by players, fans, and commentators alike. Chris Nowinski, who retired from the WWE in 2004 after lingering concussion symptoms, co-founded the Concussion Legacy Foundation in 2007.

He eerily predicted that Tagovailoa could face dire consequences if he was able to suit up for Thursday Night Football.

“If Tua takes the field tonight, it’s a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL,” he wrote on Twitter.

“If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they must know this isn’t right.”

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