“He Suffered Permanent Brain Damage.” | Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Leaves Game On Stretcher With Severe Concussion, But Why Was He On The FIeld?

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field at Paycor Stadium on Thursday night in Cincinnati. This after hitting his head and neck on the stadium’s field turf after being sacked and flung to the ground. This was the second time in four days that Tagovailoa hit his head and neck area pretty hard on the ground after being hit by the opposing team.

On Sunday he got up pretty wobbly and, in many ways, out on his feet. He and the team said it was a back injury, but when has a back injury caused someone to stagger and look woozy? On Thursday night, Tua didn’t get up after being hit. In fact, his hands sort of went into a reflexive cramp suggestive of neurological damage.

Tagovailoa was taken to the hospital where reports are he has movement in all of his extremities and he’s conscious. It was also reported that he’d be flying back with the team, which some social media doctors described as more bad decision-making by the Dolphins franchise. Considering what could’ve happened, however, that’s the best report one could receive.




Since Sunday there’s been grumblings about how Tua could’ve been misdiagnosed prior to returning to the game in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills. But Tagovailoa reportedly passed all the concussion protocol required to re-enter the game. 

 Doctor Linked To CTE And NFL Says Tua Should’ve Been Shelved

Following Sunday’s scare, neuropathologist Ben Omalu who published the first study linking CTE and the game of football in 2005, says Tua definitely had a concussion on Sunday and shouldn’t have played on Thursday. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Omalu said Tagovailoa’s body language displayed a concussion.

 “There’s no doubt,” he told the media outlet.

 “That moment he hits his head on the turf, he suffered permanent brain damage.”



Omalu says had he been the assigned neurotrama consultant at Sunday’s game he wouldn’t have permitted Tua to return to the field. If that happens there’s no way Tagovailoa would’ve cleared concussion protocol prior to Thursday’s road game at Cincinnati. Meaning he would’ve had 10-14 days to get better and make sure he was really OK to return. But three to four days later is just too risky and shouldn’t have happened.

Omalu also said the responsibility for the health of the player ultimately falls on the the player himself, not the organization and its doctors, who tend to factor their own aspirations into decisions about a player’s heath.

“The duty falls on the players. The NFL did not point a gun at his head and say, ‘You must go back to play.’ He could have said, ‘No, OK?’ Your life should be worth more to you than any amount of money,” Omalu continued. We need to have our value judgment system in place here. Your life is worth more than $10 billion because you can’t replace your life and you only have one life, so the duty falls on the players.”

Omalu is correct, but it’s also the team and league’s responsibility to help protect players from themselves. It was obvious Tua was beyond woozy on Sunday, and his being cleared then and for Thursday in many ways seems unfathomable.

Dolphins Suffer First Loss: Without Tua Team Is Done

The good news is Tagovailoa is home, and he will be taking a battery of tests over the next ten days to see if he clears protocol to play in the team’s next game against the division rival Jets on Oct. 9.

 Many will argue against it either way. 


However, without Tua the Fins just aren’t contenders. While veteran Teddy Bridgewater is a serviceable backup, he just can’t make the throws to utilize the Fins’ weapons downfield.

Read More TSL Stories:

Back to top