The National Football League and the NFL Players Association agreed Update the league’s concussion protocol on Saturday.
The decision follows a review of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury response on Sept. 25. Tagovailoa suffered a head injury and was later cleared to re-enter the game. Dagovailova, 24, was later hospitalized for a concussion.
The league and union jointly announced the review’s findings on Saturday.
Under the new protocols, players cannot compete if they experience ataxia, which describes a lack of coordination caused by poor muscle control.
The joint statement described the results and findings of their review of Tagovailoa’s injury as follows:
“Even if the investigation determined that the team medical staff and unaffiliated medical professionals followed the steps of the written protocol, the NFL and NFLPA acknowledge that the outcome of this case may not have been what it was when the protocol was drafted.”
“Thus, as has been done in previous cases, the protocol will be modified to enhance the safety of the players based on the advice of the parties’ respective medical experts. In particular, the term ‘ataxia’ has been added to the ‘no-go’ symptoms. ‘Ataxia’ is defined as an abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or impaired speech caused by a neurological problem.
In other words, if a player is diagnosed with ‘ataxia’ by any club or neutral doctor involved in the application of the concussion protocol, he will be prohibited from returning to the game and will receive the follow-up care he needs. ethical.”
In a Sept. 25 game against the Buffalo Bills, the 24-year-old quarterback fell and hit his head on the floor. As he stood up, he shook his head, appearing uncomfortably on his feet He tripped himself.
He was taken to the locker room for a concussion test, and the Dolphins announced he was questionable to return with a head injury. However, he returned to play after the break and finished the game.
His return is notable because the NFL’s current concussion protocols state that he cannot return to the game if he shows “gross motor instability,” which can be neurological.
After the game, Tagovailoa told reporters that she hobbled with a back injury — not a head injury — and that she was evaluated for a concussion but was cleared. Head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters that Tagovailoa’s back “buckled” in the previous game, causing her back to lock up.
Despite assurances that it was a back injury, the NFL Players Association launched a review into his handling of the injury.
Four days later, in a prime-time game on September 29, Tagovailoa was tackled to the ground by Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Josh Dubow. The quarterback’s hands and fingers immediately went into a terrifying state known as the “fencing response,” a sign of brain injury, and he lay motionless on the field for several minutes.
He was eventually placed on a backboard and stretcher and taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
The puzzling injury and questions about why he was allowed to play led to criticism and scrutiny both inside and outside the league. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called the events “surprising,” while players union president J.C. Tretter said he was “outraged” by what happened.
The NFL and the players union released their statement agreeing to update the concussion protocol. Additionally, as part of the investigation, a source confirmed to CNN that an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing the quarterback during the Bills game was fired by the players union, a move first reported by ESPN. The Dolphins’ team doctor is being questioned as part of the investigation, the source said.
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