The Concussion Pandemic


James Force, Sports Editor

With the NFL season underway there has been significant turmoil about concussion protocol. What brought this to light was Tua Tagovailoa’s head injuries. He was sacked to the ground in week 4, and whilst getting up started to stumble back to the ground, needing to be held up by his teammates. After being cleared by an independent doctor, he was sent back onto the field where he finished and won the game. The next week he played against the Bengals where, once again, he was sacked and hit his head. This time, instead of trying to get up, he stayed on the ground with his body tense, his hands going up toward his face and his fingers almost looking dislocated.  They weren’t dislocated – according to doctors it was a neurological issue which further proves how terrible the previous concussion protocol was. It was obvious that he had a concussion after the first time he got sacked during the Bills game, but he was allowed to continue playing and could’ve had a career-threatening injury.

The NFL has taken action, one, by getting rid of the independent doctor, and two, by putting into effect the diagnosis of Ataxia as a no-go symptom in the concussion protocol. Ataxia is poor muscle control that causes clumsy voluntary movements.  Thankfully, this rule was put in place.  Recently, a running back for the Colts, Nyheim Hines, suffered from Ataxia.  Watching Hines try to get up after hitting his head was like watching a playback of Tua’s injury. The new protocol should have been there in the first place. It horrifically took watching a rising star in the National Football League possibly losing his ability to play because of the stupidity of the doctor and the NFL.

(1534) Tua Tagovailoa SCARY injury vs. Bengals (full sequence) – YouTube – Tua injury

(1534) Nyheim Hines SCARY Head Injury vs Broncos – YouTube – Nyheim injury