“The Dolphins did not take care of you. The fact they put you out there, frankly, If I were [Tua], I would not go back and play for the Dolphins, because this was not just a failure of the medical team, this was a failure of the coaching staff, and failure of ownership.”
That’s Chris Nowinski, one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic brain injuries, very much NOT mincing his words when it comes to the future of 24-year-old Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
And, whether it’s in a Dolphins jersey or any of the other 31 teams, Nowinski believes Tua shouldn’t see the field for a single snap the rest of the season.
“My advice would be, having been through it and knowing so many dead athlete stories where there was suicide or some aspect of CTE or some traumatic brain injury, do not go back this season.”
Of course, the second-year signal caller was on the receiving end of an incredibly scary hit Thursday night … as the Fins played the Bengals in Cincinnati.
After being slammed to the ground, Tagovailoa appeared to immediately lose consciousness … and it was clear something was wrong.
Tua was placed on a stretcher and left the stadium in an ambulance, where he was taken to a local Cincy hospital for treatment.
To make matters worse, the game was only five days after Tagovailoa seemingly suffered a head injury against the Bills (Chris says he showed five signs of a potential concussion), but was allowed to return to the game.
As for his current condition, Tua was released from the hospital and was able to fly back to Miami, per reports … where he’s said to be resting at home in good spirits.
But, Chris says this is anything but a story with a happy ending … ’cause there’s real risk of long-term impact, and that’s why Nowinski says Tua shouldn’t play again this season.
If you’re at all familiar with traumatic brain injuries and CTE, you’ve likely heard of Nowinski. The former WWE wrestler had his career cut short after sustaining a head injury … and he recognized the sports world misunderstood the injury.
Chris went on to earn his Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience, and he co-founded the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the Boston University CTE Center … where his work has been celebrated across the world.
Nowinski also had strong words for first-year Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel … who told media after the game … “the best news we can give is that everything is checked out that he didn’t have anything more serious than a concussion.”
“This is a statement of no faith in the coach,” Chris flatly said.
“Really what he should be saying is it’s nothing more serious than a traumatic brain injury that caused decerebrate posturing which is very rare, and a sign of a very serious injury.”
There’s much more. Nowinski also explains Tua’s hand placement following the scary injury, and lays out the long-term effects with which he may now be forced to live.