It was Tua Tagovailoa’s injury to the head that made everyone’s jaw drop during the Thursday night game against the Bengals. Presenting the incident as a “back and neck” injury, the Miami Dolphins are getting ready to go through some serious investigation. Tua’s injury appeared to be a concussion during the previous game against the Buffalo Bills. He showed signs of this, as he was wobbly upon standing. However, he was cleared to play, and some people are pretty angry. Media has done nothing short of play the blame game.
Responsibility of Veteran Players
There was a lot of finger-pointing happening on Sports Center on ESPN regarding Tua’s injury. Blame was placed on veteran players. The show argued that they should have taken Tua aside and encouraged him not to continue to play. While this is not a wrong claim to make, is it really their responsibility to access the severity of an injury? That’s what the doctors get paid to do. I’m not saying that they did not have an opportunity to offer their opinion, but I do have a couple problems with that. First, how do we know that they didn’t? Secondly, the players are not the ones making these decisions. However, I do understand that there is an underlying moral obligation. But ultimately, it’s not their job.
There was mention on Sports Center that Tua could have likely passed a concussion test based on a flawed cognitive testing system. This is obviously true, as Chris Canty and Bart Scott admitted to doing poorly on the initial test to increase their chances of passing it after a concussion. If this is the case, do we need to just throw away the test? There must be some sort of measurement system to confirm that a player is ready to be back on the field. The stakes are so high, especially for Tua who has been doubted from the start regarding his vulnerability to injury. We can’t really blame him for being desperate to remain on the field.
In the End
The severity of Tua’s latest injury has been blamed on everyone from the doctors, his coach, and even his parents. In the end, I think that the doctors/staff are ultimately to blame for allowing Tua to not only remain on the field, but to play in another game before he was fully healed. The diagnosis he received is about as questionable as his future with the Miami Dolphins this season. Either way, Tua Tagovailoa’s injury could have been prevented with an intervention from someone (anyone). He should have never gone out to play after the first blow to the head. We hope for a speedy recovery for Tua most of all. I also wish for a proper investigation to prevent this from happening in the future.