WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The hard hits of football are seen as entertaining – until they’re not.
What began as a normal play turned life threatening when Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head injury just four days after a play brought him down in a similar fashion against the Buffalo Bills.
Although he was put back into the previous game, this time it was a wakeup call.
”That was an emotional moment,” said Dolphins coach, Mike McDaniel. “That is not part of the deal that anyone signs up for even though you know it’s a possibility in football.”
Robert Fitzsimmons is a lawyer with an extensive history in dealing with cases similar to Tua’s, and he says that questions regarding concussion protocol in this instance should be asked.
”We as a society have to make a decision that there are other decision makers that are independent and objective that decide a person should not play, and when this kid got hit, I mean, it was obvious to everybody. We all watched him start walking off the field, everybody felt pretty good, and he just starts stumbling and falling. Typical symptoms of some type of a head injury.”Robert P. Fitzsimmons – Lawyer at Fitzsimmons Law
He describes Tua’s reaction in both hits as “a picture-perfect concussion,” and says that this should spark major change in the way we look at the game of football.
Chris Nowinski – neuroscientist and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation – echoes Fitzsimmons’ comments and condemns the handling of this situation.
”This is a failure by everybody. This is a failure by the medical team. This is a failure by the independent medical team on Sunday. This is a failure by the coaching staff. The problem is all these failures – none of them are going to be punished. The person who is punished is Tua.”Chris Nowinski – Neuroscientist, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation
The doctor who made this call has since been fired.
”This guy, for this team blew it. He just made a bad call and I don’t know what motivated him, whether it was just an error. People make errors, but this was so obvious that it just wasn’t just an error. They wanted him to play and continue to play and that’s wrong. That’s what we have to change and we can’t allow even one of those kids to go through that because it is devastating.”Robert P. Fitzsimmons – Lawyer at Fitzsimmons Law
The Dolphins are adamant that they did not break protocol, but a joint investigation between the NFL and the League’s Player’s Association is underway to determine the truth.