Bennet Omalu faults Tua Tagovailoa for staying in the game

Dr. Bennet Omalu, Who Discovered CTE In Ex-NFL Players, Holds Briefing On Capitol Hill
Getty Images

Dr. Bennet Omalu may have discovered Chronic Traumatic Enchelopathy, but he still has a lot to learn when it comes to how the brains of football players are wired.

Omalu, whose efforts to make the NFL take head trauma seriously were the subject of the film Concussion, told in the aftermath of Sunday’s Bills-Dolphins game that Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should not have re-entered the game. More specifically, Omalu said that Tua should have refused to return to play.

“Your life should be worth more to you than any amount of money,” Omalu said. “Your life is worth more than $10 billion, ’cause you can’t replace your life. You have only one life. . . . The duty falls on the players. The NFL did not point a gun on his head and say, ‘You must go back to play.’ He could have said, ‘No.'”

He could have, but he wouldn’t have. Football players want to play football. Especially when questions continue to linger about the player’s overall ability and durability — and when the player is backed up by someone who wasn’t bashful about suggesting that there may be a path to playing.

As explained on Wednesday’s PFT Live, we’ll defer further comment on the Tua situation until the investigation initiated by the NFL Players Association concludes. Obviously, however, Tua seemed to be wobbly due not to a back injury but a head injury. Common sense points directly to that conclusion.

So what happened in the locker room to overcome common sense? That’s what we need to find out. Still, in no case should the player be blamed for doing what the player naturally and fervently wants to do. It’s for those charged with protecting the player to understand that they also need to protect the player from himself.

17 responses to “Bennet Omalu faults Tua Tagovailoa for staying in the game

  1. it was a huge game against a division rival is why he stayed in and “passed” concussion protocol. If it was the texans and they were up 21 he would have sat out im sure.

  2. If the doctors, including the independent said his brain was fine, who are we to say otherwise? I’ve not seen any other examples the last few years of a player being allowed to play after a head injury.

  3. Football is a hard game. 2 Doctors check him out to go back in the game.they are the only people who know his condition.If this is how its need then don’t allow the QB’s to run or be touch. This be the players union is cover your ass time. Bill

  4. Pretty soon we will hear from an expert based in Australia that has an opinion on Tua and what happened in Hard Rock Stadium.
    Enough is enough, the neurologist hired by the NFL cleared him to play. He even said it wasn’t a concussion. At what point is everyone going to let this go??
    Had Buffalo come back and won the game would these experts still be standing on their soap boxes talking about this?? Probably not.
    So let it go!!! On to Cincy

  5. Ummm, this is why the NFL doctor is there. It’s not Tua’s choice nor the team.


    It’s not a back issue. They’re lying outright and cheating in front i
    of the NFL customer.

    Miami is fresh off a rampant cheating scandal that affected 3 different teams and a very light punishment for Miami, and now we have this.

    Where is Goodell?

  6. NFL players know the risks of long term health when they play NFL football. Sorry doc but it’s called free will.

  7. Tua got up like Joker from the Dark Knight when he got out of the flipped truck and the doctor cleared him that quick. That’s def going to raise some questions.

  8. What happens if all the protocols were followed and he wasn’t concussed? As slim as that possibility seems to be to some people, it may very well be true. If the Fins were 0-3 I don’t there would be this much scrutiny over him coming back in. The “experts” and fans are engaging in a witch hunt because the Dolphins are punching above their weight class.

  9. I have seen multiple interviews by HoF players who all say it was the fear of letting down their teammates, not fiscal incentives that pushed them on the field.
    For many of these players its the competition and comraderie, not the pay check.

  10. “I’ve not seen any other examples the last few years of a player being allowed to play after a head injury” _______________________________

    There are lots of times where at least minor ones get ignored. 2017 Tom Savage was the last major one i remember being ignored, knocked unconscious, was convulsing and twitching and showing every concussion sign there is, then got sent straight back into the game with a concussion. Whether it’s the doctors not watching the hit, or not pulling the QB specifically, there is a precedent for it.

    As to Florio saying Omalu doesn’t know football players, he does. He also knows that team doctors will often have a bias to what’s best for the team and not the player. What he’s doing is challenging the status quo tough guy mentality, since severe concussions can be easy to play through sometimes.

  11. Players shouldn’t be blamed for playing through concussions? That is madness. What are you teaching young people? Play through the mushy brain, kid. Rub some dirt on it. How about we teach kids to be tough AND smart. There’s a thought.

  12. All steps of the protocol were followed, doesn’t mean that the protocol they set are the best one to follow…

    It wasn’t too long ago that the nfl hired independent neurologist for their Concussion protocol, that were employed by the team lol

  13. Praying for a full recovery for Tua.Dr. Bennet Omalu’s concerns, unfortunately, seem more relevant. Again, BLESSINGS to Tua and his Fam.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.