NFLPA Approves Revised Concussion Protocol

The football world continues to sort through the wreckage of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's horrifying Week 4 Thursday Night Football injury, and a major step has been taken to avoid a similar disaster occurring again. The NFLPA has approved a revised concussion protocol that should limit players' ability to return to game action following demonstrated motor instability:  Tagovailoa famously appeared wobbly after a first-half hit in the Dolphins' Week 3 game against the Bills and was briefly replaced by backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. However, Tagovailoa was never officially diagnosed with a concussion and made a shocking return in the second half, eventually winning the game.

Tagovailoa played on Week 4's Thursday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals despite injury concerns and suffered a horrifying head injury on a relatively routine sack. He was stretchered off the field after an extended period on the ground in front of a stunned and hushed audience.
The NFL will likely approve the proposed changes, but there are structural and institutional obstacles to implementing a new protocol by this weekend. Doctors, coaches, and players all need to be trained and educated. In any case, anything that can contribute to overall player safety and prevent another series of events like the one that victimized Tagovailoa has to be considered great news.

Photo Credit © Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK