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Tua Tagovailoa situation calls into question protocols, safety of Thursday Night Football

The Rams took a player out of concussion protocol on Saturday, and put another player in

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been two days since the scary situation on Thursday Night Football involving Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Only four days after many questioned if Tagovailoa should be allowed to re-enter a contest against the Buffalo Bills, the third-year starter was back under center for the Dolphins on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Midway through the game, Tagovailoa was brought down in one of the most intense sacks of recent memory and immediately showed signs of neurological impairment.

On Saturday, the NFLPA fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tagovailoa to play again on Sunday against the Bills.

The Tagovailoa situation has called into question the NFL’s concussion protocols, the third party consultants who clear players to return to action, the Miami Dolphins and head coach Mike McDaniel for allowing Tagovailoa to play on Thursday, as well as the league’s ongoing decision to hold games on Thursday nights. Is a four-day break enough for players to go from one game to the next?

The Los Angeles Rams play two games in a four-day span in early December, first hosting the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13, then staying at SoFi Stadium to play the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football. Rams rookie cornerback Derion Kendrick was in the concussion protocol following a hit against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. He has been cleared to play Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers. Guard David Edwards will miss the game after feeling “foggy” and entering the concussion protocol.

Safety Taylor Rapp was in the concussion protocol last season after a game against the 49ers in Week 18. He missed the first three weeks of the playoffs, returning for the Super Bowl. Leonard Floyd suffered a concussion against the 49ers in Week 10, but was playing the next week against the Green Bay Packers.

Sean McVay will have to be sure that the Rams are doing the right thing with the concussion protocol each week. It appears that the team is now comfortable with Kendrick playing, but not Edwards.