Release Date: September 30, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo sports law expert Helen A. “Nellie” Drew says the injury to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa either calls into question the NFL’s negotiated concussion protocol or potentially leaves the league responsible for the quarterback’s injuries.
“The NFL and the National Football League Players Association have a negotiated joint concussion protocol,” says Drew, JD, professor of practice and director of the Center for the Advancement of Sport in UB’s School of Law.
“If indeed it was followed, as the Dolphins have stated, it is clearly inadequate as even the most untrained eye could tell Tua was having difficulty standing upright after the initial hit in the Bills game.
“If the protocol was not followed correctly, however, questions of liability for injury and professional responsibility must be pursued.”
The Dolphins quarterback sustained what was originally thought to be a head injury last Sunday in his game against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa’s injury was later changed to a “back injury” by team officials. He sustained another injury – this time described by team officials as a concussion – in a Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Medical experts – including those from UB – have said Tagavailoa is at a higher risk for a more prolonged and complicated recovery after the concussion he sustained Thursday night against the Bengals.
Drew is frequently quoted in regional and national media on sports law issues ranging from discipline of professional athletes, drug testing in sports, collective bargaining, NCAA compliance, Title IX, sports medicine and sports law, and professional sports contracts.