Report: NFLPA fires neurotrauma consultant involved in Tua's Week 3 clearance
The NFL Players Association has exercised its prerogative to terminate the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to return to play in the Miami Dolphins' Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, reports Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
The union, which opened an investigation into the situation following the contest, made the decision after uncovering "several mistakes" by the consultant, a source told Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Additional factors in the doctor's termination included a failure to understand his role as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and hostility during the investigation process, sources told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport.
Tagovailoa briefly exited in Week 3 after taking a big hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano and stumbling after getting to his feet. He missed just three plays before reentering the game.
Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Monday that the injury scare stemmed from a back ailment and that the young signal-caller was not in concussion protocol.
Days later, Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field after his head appeared to hit the turf following a sack in the second quarter of the Dolphins' Week 5 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. McDaniel said postgame that Tagovailoa had entered concussion protocol, but he remained adamant that the quarterback had not suffered a head injury against Buffalo.
Tagovailoa was briefly hospitalized in Cincinnati before flying back to Miami with his team after Thursday's game.
The 24-year-old issued a statement Friday thanking the Dolphins for the "support and care" he received after the incident.
The NFLPA's investigation into Tagovailoa's Week 3 clearance is ongoing.