ProFootballDoc: Tua Concussion Shows It Is Time To Provide More Transparency

A direct explanation clears up confusion. If the NFL, team physician and independent sideline neuro specialists (red hats) are doing the right thing, why not showcase that to fans?

Post game, the head referee is required to speak to a pool reporter and answer questions. Whether you agree with the call or not, it provides insight into the thinking of officials. Who can argue the questions regarding Tua Tagovailoa Sunday were less important or interesting than a rule interpretation? It is past time to allow medical personnel like the “red hat” to answer simple questions immediately after the game.

We did get reports from national insiders about back spasms but that is different than hearing directly what the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) found in real-time. If this physician is not comfortable speaking, responses to written questions would do. Even a response from the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer would be better.

Almost exactly a year ago, we had the Davante Adams situation and I started the call for action then. The then Packers WR was hit to the head and lay on the ground for two minutes, then went into the medical tent for 90 seconds and with the commercial, only missed one play.

The ultimate explanation of getting the wind knocked out of him would be more powerful coming directly from the UNC than from the team, player or reporters.

This should not be a HIPAA issue as teams talk about injuries all the time. I would assume the NFLPA would agree to let this happen. Perhaps a player could choose to block this medial release of information but doubt many would.

Clearing up these issues would get the conversation back to football and that is what we all want in the end. And if there is something to hide, all the more reason for transparency.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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