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.