Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross that “many questions must be answered” in the aftermath of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s gruesome head injury during Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tagovailoa was sacked early in the game and he lay near-motionless on the Cincinnati turf with his hands stuck in a “fencing” position, where hands and arms go into an unnatural position due to head trauma. Tagovailoa was carted off the field and transported to an area hospital.
Tagovailoa was diagnosed with head and neck injuries, and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol — something he wasn’t put in after his head slammed against the turf and he got up wobbly on Sunday.
“After years of obfuscation and even litigation regarding links between head injuries and neurological disorders, there were positive signs that the NFL finally was trying to take seriously the impact these brain injuries can have on [the] health and safety of its players,” Pascrell, the founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, wrote in the letter.
“Working with the NFL over the years, your officials have assured the public of the NFL’s commitment to player safety and protecting athletes from brain injury. Mr. Tagovailoa’s injury on live television raises grave questions about the progress that the NFL and its teams purported to have made on this issue and how seriously the NFL is taking its commitment to player safety.”
Tagovailoa returned home to Miami with the team after he was released from the hospital.
“Talking to him this morning, I think he was still feeling some of those headaches,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel told reporters on Friday.