NFLPA ousts neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tua Tagovailoa's return

Miami, Florida - The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) fired the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) responsible for Dolphins' quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's return to the field following an injury during last Sunday's game against the Bills.

Medical staff tend to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins after an injury during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium.
Medical staff tend to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins after an injury during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium.  © ANDY LYONS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

In part of the NFLPA's investigation into Tagovailoa's Week 3 clearance, both the UNC and the Dolphins team doctor were interviewed on Friday, one day after Tagovailoa was taken off the field during Miami's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Saturday, USA Today Sports reported that a representative with the NFLPA confirmed that the UNC who signed off on Tagovailoa's return following the Dolphins' win against the Bills had been fired.

Tagovailoa left last Sunday's game after a massive hit, only to return in the second half. Though it was reported he had a back injury, many suspected it was actually a head injury.

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To much surprise, the Dolphins' QB started in last Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, only to get gruesomely sacked and carted off the field. It was later reported that he suffered from a concussion, but was otherwise in good spirits.

According to the NFLPA, every UNC is selected and credentialed by the players union and the league's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee.

As independent workers of an NFL team, their tasks include, but are not limited to, helping the team's medical staff in identifying concussions.

Additionally, the consultants are given the power to call for stoppage of a game if they suspect a player has a serious head injury. During every NFL game, there are two neurotrauma consultants – one on each sideline.

On Friday, the 24-year-old QB shared a statement for the first time following the incident, giving thanks to fans, friends, and family, for all the "support and care" he received following.

Currently, there is no timetable for Tagovailoa's return back to football.

Cover photo: NFLPA fires neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tua Tagovailoa’s return

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