The NFL Players Association announced they’d be immediately launching an investigation into the team’s handling of Tagovailoa. While those results are pending, on Saturday the union made a big move by terminating their contract with the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) who examined him during the Bills-Dolphins game in Week 3.
According to reports, the move came after the NFLPA discovered “several mistakes” by the UNC that could have led to Tagovailoa being cleared.
The team’s decision making was already under scrutiny after Tagovailoa suffered what appeared to be a head injury against Buffalo, but was allowed to come back into the game.
But it got much worse when he had to be carted off the field during Week 4.
Now this news creates even further questions as to what actually happened.
What Were the ‘Mistakes’ Made In Examining Tua?
So far, only the NFLPA has claimed that “mistakes” were made by the UNC. If neither the NFL or the Dolphins have uncovered “mistakes” that might have been made, it raises questions as to why only the NFLPA has learned about them.
The union could be looking for beneficial evidence in potential action against the league or the team, or it could be an entirely justified separation based on poor judgment by the consultant.
There’s a non-zero chance that the NFLPA wants to be seen as doing “something,” taking action to mollify concerns from other players.
Fans have also been justifiably upset about how his injuries have been handled, and pinning blame on someone is extremely desirable.
That’s why it’s odd that neither the league or the team have leaked information about “mistakes.”
If there were significant problems with how the expert handled Tagovailoa, the Dolphins would also be extremely upset considering their franchise quarterback was put in jeopardy due to an improper process.
Not to mention Tua, who obviously would have the strongest justification to be upset.
There’s certainly a lot more to come out of this story, especially since Saturday’s news creates even more questions, without answering much.
UPDATE: Late afternoon, the NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement concerning these reports: