Why Tua Tagovailoa’s injury puts the future of the NFL at risk
ESPN analyst and former NFL player Bart Scott believes parents will hesitate to let their kids play football after Tua Tagovailoa’s head injury
The Miami Dolphins’ decision to have Tua Tagovailoa play the Cincinnati Bengals just four days after he appeared to exhibit concussion symptoms put more than the quarterback’s health at risk, according to Bart Scott, a former NFL linebacker and current ESPN analyst.
He believes it also threatened the future of the game.
“Miami put the future of the NFL at risk because every parent sitting with their child watching that game saw what happened to Tua Tagovailoa and said, ‘Why would I subject my child to that?,’” Scott said during Friday’s edition of “First Take” on ESPN.
Even before the Dolphins quarterback went down with head and neck injuries during Thursday night’s game, many parents felt football was too violent.
One 2018 poll found that 48% of U.S. adults would “encourage a child who wanted to play football to play a different sport due to concerns about concussions,” including 46% of parents with a child in the home, as NBC News reported at the time.
Scott said the NFL will have to make adjustments to its concussion protocols in order to assuage people’s fears.
“The NFL has to really take a hard stance. We’re talking about the future of our game,” he said on “First Take.”
JC Tretter, president of the NFL Players Association said something similar Friday in a statement on Tagovailoa’s injuries. He said the league must do “everything possible” to ensure that a player who appears to have a concussion is provided with appropriate medical care.
“Until we have an objective and validated method of diagnosing brain injury, we have to do everything possible, including amending the protocols, to further reduce the potential of human error,” Tretter said. “We have come a long way over the past 15 years but the last week proves how far we have left to go.”
The Players Association is currently investigating why and how Tagovailoa cleared concussion protocols on Sunday, Sept. 18, after he struggled to walk after being tackled.
The NFL’s chief medical officer confirmed Friday that the quarterback was “checked for concussion symptoms every day since Sunday,” according to Tom Pelissero, who reports on the league for NFL Network.
In his press conference Friday, Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said the team is focused on helping Tagovailoa get healthy.
“It’s about Tua as a person. We’re just worried about him getting healthy and getting all of the testing done,” he said, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.