NFL Players Association terminates Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant involved in Bills-Dolphins controversy


The official investigation regarding the decision to clear Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains pending. For now, however, the NFL Players Association has decided to take action.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA has exercised its prerogative to terminate the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant involved in the decision to clear Tua to return to action.

The concussion protocol provides that players who demonstrate gross motor instability may return only if the team physician, in consultation with the UNC, determines that the instability did not have a neurological cause.

Although specific findings have not been made regarding how and why Tua returned, the union lost confidence in the UNC, given that the impairment of the player was obvious. Based on the available video, Tua should not have returned.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh made that point on Friday, as tactfully as he could.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw last Sunday,” Harbaugh said regarding Tua clearly wobbling and later returning to the game. “It was just something that was astonishing to see. I’ve been coaching for 40 years now, college in the NFL, almost 40, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

The NFLPA couldn’t believe it, either. And the union saw enough to move on from the UNC who was involved in the situation, regardless of the investigation’s specific findings.

67 responses to “NFL Players Association terminates Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant involved in Bills-Dolphins controversy

  1. Just watched the first hit. Can’t believe he was allowed back in the game. Well, almost can’t believe. It is the nfl.

  2. How was the notice given? Did they do it politely? Or did they do it like Linda Hamilton at the end of Terminator?

  3. “I’m not a neurologist, but I logged into the internet once. And based on the video I saw, it was definitely a head injury. Trust me. I am a professional video watcher.” Insert eye roll emoji here.

  4. Ok all of that is fine and dandy, but I have a question for the NFLPA. You represent the players, and you’re supposed to have their best interests in mind as it relates to all aspects of the game correct? Well if that’s the case then can someone explain to me why nobody from the NFLPA stepped up after Sundays game, and said hey we think our player suffered a head injury, and WE DON’T WANT HIM BACK on the field until we get a second opinion. If Tua is going to lie (if that’s what happened), and claim it wasn’t a head injury, and he’s unwilling to protect himself properly, then the union that’s supposed to have his best interests in mind needs to step up, and do what he appears to be unwilling to do. That didn’t happen though, and now suddenly they’re all up in arms over the entire affair, but where were they after Sundays game? We shouldn’t be here talking about this, but we are, and it’s because the player was unwilling to protect himself, and his union was also not interested in protecting him. Sad all around

  5. I hate the term “unaffiliated” when it comes to anyone involved with the NFL that is getting a paycheck from someone involved with the NFL.

    Unaffiliated in this context does not mean unbiased or impartial. Someone somewhere has provided a financial incentive for the individual’s work.

  6. I hope the UNC sues the NFL UNION for slander. As far as Harbaugh goes, never in in 40 years? He is so full of it. BTW, his organization is bent on taking a dump on their franchise QB. Harbaugh should keep his mouth shut and worry about his own problems

  7. Rogie….oh Rogie! Where are you and your “Article 46”?


    Cue the Goodell minions who still don’t see they’re lied to and that Goodell is the cheater and allows certain AFC teams to factually cheat in front of the NFL customer, while framing the Patriots in order to steal draft pick on trumped up charges we later find to be lies.

    Can you imagine if BB did this with Mac Jones? First of all, he absolutely wouldn’t have, as for once I agree 100% with Johnnie Whinebaugh, as this newest disgrace by Goodell is obscene. Mr. Commissioner Dictator and all powerful Article 46 Goodell is nowhwre to be seen on an obvious player safety violation and “integrity” with a promise of a “2 week investigation”
    and at “first blush, no indication a concussion protocol violation occurred”…

    Nothing worse than arrogant narcisissts who can’t admit they’ve been duped by someone in a position of power to the point they are willing to just go along with open cheating done by the commissionen himself.

  8. Tua did enough to fool the specialist on Sunday. With that in mind, even if he was pulled from that game, he would have been able to clear protocols Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday in order to play on Thursday. What difference would it make to his condition today??

  9. So if they terminated him, why would he cooperate with their investigation? Seems like they jumped the gun on that one.

  10. NFLPA is now judge and jury, hope the UNC sues them to no end when he is found to have done nothing wrong.

  11. The NFLPA’S said the union discovered several mistakes made by the doctor that cleared Tua to continue to play in the Bills game .Looks like Tua could have a major Lawsuit

  12. As I have said before on other site – Harbaugh wouldnt have let him back on the field neither would have Lafleur and both have demostrated that with other players who were close but erred on the side of safety – both for the player’s health and long term in the scheme of the schedule. But this coach who was 3-0 at the time not only fell into the hype but also pushed the hype – and yet he is being hyped as the next big thing?

  13. Sounds like a smart move. The “Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant” is obviously anything BUT unaffiliated.

  14. Why was he terminated? Did he fail to follow the protocol? Did he clear all the neurological tests he gave him? If we’re just looking at the end result on Thursday, than that is not necessarily is the reason he should be terminated. Whether Tua had a previous concussion or not, he would’ve gotten a concussion from the hit he took on Thursday.

    If you’re going to argue the fact that Tua was stumbling around after the hit last Sunday is the reason why he should’ve been removed from the game and not allowed to be play on Thursday, then that falls on everyone, the head coach, the head trainer, the owner, the commissioner of the league. They all saw him stumbling around after the hit on Sunday, but nobody stepped in to prevent him from playing on Thursday. But they’re going to blame the one guy, when everyone else is to blame as well.

  15. Lots of Dunning Kruger effect going on these days. I bet most of the people sharing their thoughts on this aren’t neurosurgeons. And those that are didn’t personally evaluate Tua. Let people do the jobs that they are trained to do and realize that you aren’t.

  16. qtrotti says:
    October 1, 2022 at 2:21 pm
    I hope the UNC sues the NFL UNION for slander.
    Actually, he will be lucky to ever find work again.

    If I were him, I wouldn’t want to draw any more attention to how he lied on the job by stringing out a lawsuit.

  17. So Harbaugh is basically calling Miami’s head coach a liar. Sounds like sour grapes for blowing a big lead against the Dolphins. Now I want to see Harbaugh take Lamar Jackson out of the game the next hard hit he takes.

  18. Maybe if Tua wasn’t running all over the place THAT hit would have been avoided.

  19. I have no idea who is at fault, because I’m not an expert like so many on here……but I doubt it’s one person at fault……so, for the sake of this not happening again, I hope this does not end the investigation. The NFL has, unfortunately, lost so much credibility on their “investigations”, but hopefully the NFLPA and NFL do a good joint investigation.

  20. Why was he not ruled out immediately after initial sign of injury, instead of waiting to see if he could get through.. If evidence is that clear and convincing for everyone to see, then it should not have been possible for the team to make the decision.

  21. I’m not sure if firing the UNC is going to help or hinder the investigation. Odds are everyone involved is going cover their butts. Who knows, maybe divide and conquer reveals the truth. At a minimum, it prevents the UNC from endangering another player, especially Tua. It wasn’t just the UNC, Tua would have been checked out by Dolphins staff as well. Daniel Snyder had a 10 year head start on Ross to become the embarrassment of the NFL. But Ross and the Dolphins have overtaken him in my opinion.

  22. When a player has to be held up by 2 teammates after his legs gave way,… I’d have to say Tua had a head injury. His bell got rung !
    Why they would allow him back in the game ? That was wrong.

  23. Did the team physician keep his job? I heard a report yesterday that the team physician has the final say if a player is permitted back into the game.
    Seems to me that they are using the “unaffiliated” physician as a scapegoat.

  24. So the physician, the one who is most educated and had to work the hardest to have the privilege to perform his job is scapegoated. Meanwhile, the lazy suits who run the show and exploit millions, after having mostly earned their jobs through nepotism and under the table proceedings, get to continue on unscathed without scrutiny? Sounds about America.

  25. While the investigation is not yet complete, the wild speculation and potential over -reaction by the media may pressure the NFL to modify the protocol so much that careers may be ended prematurely because of ‘potential’ future injury rather than actual injury. The concussion protocol recovery period may be extended to weeks – or even months- thereby causing players to be replaced permanently with less-risky and reduced-liability players. Is the NFLPA really going to emphasize forcing players to the bench for extended periods?

  26. So the untrained eyes of TV talkers, coaches and fans are to be trusted, but the trained eye of a doctor whose specific job was to be an unbiased judge of the player’s fitness to return to play is to be rejected—before an investigation of the reasons for his determination, before any finding has been made that his professional judgment was wrong, or unfounded?I have no idea if Tua should have been back in that game, or played the following Thursday. And neither does anyone, including the NFLPA, who has been opining on the subject.

  27. The people making fun of those of us who were appalled will eat their words once the entire story comes out

  28. There should be a line when it comes to injuries in the nfl , if a player is unable to stand he shouldn’t be allowed beck in the game head injury or not

  29. The system is still broken. They added a tent, “unaffiliated” doctor, team doctor etc. A normal person can see someone clearly has a problem and EVERYONE affiliated with the team see this and allows it to happen. Firing one doctor isn’t going to fix this. Someone has to be given real true authority to keep someone out of a game because owners, GMs, coaches and even doctors aren’t doing it. A truly independent team of brain specialists across the league that isn’t incompetent like the Dolphins guy. They should be publicly named and if they screw up their professional reputation will suffer. Transparency NFL, look into it. It works a lot better than covering up nefarious activities and hoping you get away with it.

  30. Definitely sounds like a scapegoat.

    The Dolphins organization (and employed medical staff) are the ones who need to face the consequences.

  31. 40 years Harbaugh? 2018 Lamar Jackson got kicked in the head by a teammate while on the ground, gets up woozy and complains of dizziness to the trainer… leaves the game, clears the protocol, comes back and finishes the game.

    Go Dolphins.

  32. If this investigation is serious, and the NFL is still fond of demanding cell phones/records… it would be interesting to see if there was any communication from the currently suspended Mr. Ross and that team doctor. Or any member of the team at that time. I believe he’s not supposed to talking to anyone isn’t he? So if it was found talking to anyone during Sundays game that would be something to pursue pretty hard.

  33. 25-year trauma charge nurse here. We see head trauma daily.

    Tua’s unsteadiness after the initial hit last Sunday is NOT a sign of a back injury. If it was a back injury he would not have stumbled and grabbed his head. Those symptoms are consistent with a brain injury, not a back injury. The pathophysiological response to a head injury is to grab the head, which Tua did. Loss of balance is another. Neither one of those responses indicate a back or spine injury. It’s not even close

  34. A whole bunch of lug head football players that know more about head injuries than a neurologist.

  35. The said they found several mistakes to fire him? Damn s after saying it looks like protocol was followed. The NFLPA better be right they are firing a doctor that needs his reputation and he’ll sue to keep it.
    The NFLPA helped set up these rules and if they’ve fired him without cause and released a statement saying he didn’t follow their protocol when he did it will cost the NFLPA a small fortune.

  36. Remember when Jim Harbaugh let his QB on the field for 3 more plays when it was obvious he was totally zonked out the fans the announcers everyone was yelling get him out but old rust bucket harbaugh could have gotten that poor kid killed out there even the defense took it easy on him.

  37. The Miami Dolphin organization is having too many missteps in the last couple of years. I’m starting to question the integrity of everyone in it above the level of the player.

  38. So, the NFLPA actually stated factors were “failure to understand his role as UNC and hostility during the investigation process”.

    Noticed it WASN’T a failure of duty, so it seems like the union just didn’t like the correct answer.

    Seriously, I’d be pretty upset if some union rep with no medical background started questioning my professional diagnosis based on years of study.

  39. I’m not a doctor but I know many doctors who know less than the ones who play one on tv. If a doctor gives you an opinion that common sense tells you is crazy, you get another opinion. It’s your life. The Dolphins should have overruled the “expert” as the not so good doc may not have seen Tua out on his feet. How many other “experts” did the league hire and making mistakes clearing Concussed players?

  40. The Miami Dolphin organization is having too many missteps in the last couple of years. I’m starting to question the integrity of everyone in it above the level of the player.
    Except for Christian Wilkins. His in-the-pile antics with Josh Allen’s groin seem apropos with the Miami culture of the last couple of years.

  41. I hope the UNC sues the crap out of them, as I want to know what ‘severe mistakes’ happened? For all the media (I love they’re blaming teammates and family members), what part do you take in players needing to get back on the field in fear of losing their jobs? Mike, I have only heard you for the last 3 years that Tua is crap and they should of took Herbert! Lastly, John Harbaugh is an idiot and should stay in his own line, as the only reason he is commenting is the Dolphins are 1 up on the Ravens!

  42. Allen sills needs to be fired. NFL head medical dude is still defending this? If player safety is a concern and dude couldn’t walk after hit last week and you let him go again in a few days safety is not your #1 concern.

  43. I suggest a mandatory training day every year for every player. In the morning discuss health and injuries with a particular focus on head injuries. The afternoon focus will be on everything related to finances and net worth.

    The owners pay the speakers. The NFLPA approves the speakers. No religion. No sales pitches. The overriding message to the players is look out for yourself.

  44. Tua is at fault here to, everyone that should have been protecting him let him down. Tiny people like him need protection

  45. ‘Noticed it WASN’T a failure of duty, so it seems like the union just didn’t like the correct answer.’

    The investigation hasn’t been completed yet. And you haven’t heard his answer, and dubbed it correct anyway.

    ‘Seriously, I’d be pretty upset if some union rep with no medical background started questioning my professional diagnosis based on years of study.’

    NFLPA is investigating whether the concussion protocol was followed. That’s their prerogative, and it’s perfectly reasonable for them to do so.

  46. vegasdestroyer says:
    October 1, 2022 at 6:43 pm
    I’m not a doctor but I know many doctors who know less than the ones who play one on tv. If a doctor gives you an opinion that common sense tells you is crazy, you get another opinion. It’s your life. The Dolphins should have overruled the “expert” as the not so good doc may not have seen Tua out on his feet. How many other “experts” did the league hire and making mistakes clearing Concussed players?

    36Rate This


    Mistakes weren’t made. That’s the Goodell Cheater scapegoat line you are being fed.

    McDaniel sent him back out after seeing what everyone in America saw.

    The Dolphins are protected which is why they did what they did.

    Investigate Ross and Goodelll.

  47. EVERY team has done this with an injured player over the past 50 years and very little has changed. In that regard, Harbaugh needs to stay in his lane. Every head coach pushes the boundary on this issue. Major changes are needed and head coaches need to start stepping up.

  48. Sorry to see Tua get hurt, but all these NFL experts saying they never saw anything like him returning after a concussion are full of it. I’m sure someone with access to old videos could come up with countless times a player “got his bell rung” only to return a few plays later.
    LaVar Arrington came back in a game against Carolina after being concussed in the first half. He ran an interception back for a score that won the game for DC. Nobody got fired that day.

  49. Harbaugh is old enough to remember Dandy Don hooting on MNF about how a player “really got his bell rung” and returning 3 plays later. And if he doesn’t remember that far back players like Steve Young and Troy Aikman are certainly within his 40 year timeframe. Talk about revisionist history.

  50. Guessing the UNC valued his access to the stadium and the perks more than doing his job. He can pay for a ticket like everyone else.

  51. Pretty obvious to me this doctor is a “fall guy.” It starts at the top of the organization…with Ross. It’s no coincidence that this is the same organization that wanted its coach to loss games on purpose and tampered with Brady.

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.