The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

PARISI: Dolphins handled Tagovailoa’s injury wrong

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Injuries. We all get them, we know how annoying they are. Some take a week at most to heal, some can kill you.

Athletes seem to always get hit the hardest, especially football players. Whether it’s an ACL tear, achilles tear or severe head trauma, there seems to be a strict protocol that NFL players have to go through to get cleared, including a five step process to be cleared of a concussion.

But this was not the case for Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa was having a great start to the season for the Dolphins, throwing six touchdowns against the Ravens in week 2, leading them to a 3-0 record for the first time since 2018, and becoming one of the last undefeated teams left in the NFL.

But suddenly his season took a sharp left turn.

During the Bills game Sept. 25, Tagovailoa took a hit late in the first quarter forcing him to exit the game with a head injury. You could visibly see that he was not okay, as he was struggling to stay on his feet after the hit. If the Dolphins had any common sense, they would make sure their player, especially their star quarterback, would not reenter the game and be tested for a concussion.

Apparently this was not the case for the Dolphins, as Tagovailoa took the field with his teammates and led the offense on their second-half opening drive.

As any human being might react, I was shocked and confused. How could someone go through concussion protocol in a twenty-minute halftime and be fine? Most importantly, why let him play?

The Dolphins claimed he passed multiple concussion evaluations after he was hit and that is why he was able to continue playing.

Not only did the Dolphins training staff let him continue, but four days later they let him play Thursday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. Four days after what seemed like a pretty serious concussion.

Any type of head injury should be taken seriously, but especially for a football player, who takes sacks and likes to scramble/run.

Former WWE superstar and neuroscientist, Chris Nowinski, sounded off on the Dolphins prior to the Bengals game, stating the risks the Dolphins are taking letting Tagovailoa play and what could happen if he gets a second concussion in five days.

And then, not even six hours later, Tagovailoa was hospitalized for what looked like a very severe hit to the head, which caused a fencing response, a very serious response to a concussion.

We are lucky Tagovailoa regained feeling in his extremities after this hit and could fly home with the team. But even then should he have left the hospital so quickly?

That is beside the point. The Miami Dolphins organization should be ashamed of themselves for even allowing Tagovailoa on the field for Thursday’s game. Even the tiniest hit to the head could have been catastrophic and here we are seeing his head slammed into the ground.

It’s not even the fact that they let him play Thursday, but the fact that they even let him back into the game against the Bills after he could barely walk straight after being hit.

We know how severe Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is and the long-term effects it can have on a person. So, knowing the chances of Tagovailoa getting a head start on suffering from CTE, why let him play? Why let such a young promising star risk everything just to play one game?

Would you rather have one game, or one half over what could be a decade of play with a long-term quarterback who has already proven himself to be a talented player?

The answer seems easy, but for the Dolphins, they chose the route that could very well end Tagovailoa’s career in one play.

One play was all former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier needed to end his career and temporarily paralyze him.

One play was all former Washington Commanders quarterback Alex Smith needed to almost lose his leg and life forever.

Yet, Tagovailoa was given two opportunities to potentially make him walk away from football forever.

We saw what happened to former Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck, who was forced retire at 29 years old because of lingering injuries to his calf and ankle. And that was not even his head!

And then there was Demaryius Thomas, who was a prominent receiver for the Denver Broncos who recently passed away from a seizure, but was also found to have suffered from CTE.

So as you can see there is no secret to how bad injuries from the NFL can be, and how one play can change your life forever.

I hope this is not the end for Tagovailoa, because he deserves to have a long and successful career in the NFL, but we won’t know the effects these two hits will have on him for a while.

I hope he gets out of Miami before they let him take another blow to the head that will make him hang up his cleats forever.

This story was written by Kristin Parisi. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kristinparisimu.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kristin Parisi
Kristin Parisi, MUTV Executive Sports Producer
Kristin Parisi is the the MUTV Executive Sports Producer. She is a senior from Ellicott City, Maryland, studying journalism and minoring in digital media. In her free time Kristin loves hanging out with her friends and family. She loves binge-watching TV shows as well as watching all kinds of sports. She also loves going for long drives while blasting music and exploring nature. This year, Kristin is looking forward to making award-winning content while making the most of her last year at Marquette and the Wire.

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *