‘Concussion’ Doctor Bennet Omalu Urges Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa to Stop Playing

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is out for the Week 5 road matchup against the New York Jets on Sunday.

If the decision was up to Bennet Omalu, the famed neuropathologist who discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in former football players, Tagovailoa would continue to be sidelined. As in forever, after Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in Miami’s 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4.

“My advice to him is, look, it’s time,” Omalu told TMZ Sports. “You’ve suffered severe, long-term permanent brain damage. He seized… If you love your life. If you love your family, you love your kids, if you have kids, it’s time to gallantly walk away. Go find something else to do.

“He should stop. Sometimes money is not more valuable than human life. $20 billion is not worth more than your brain.”

Tua Tagovailoa was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to a nearby hospital after being sacked last Thursday. He had movement in all his extremities and flew home with the team after the hospital discharged him.

“Tua, my brother. I love you,” Omalu said. “I love you as much as I love my son. Stop playing. Stop. Hang your helmet and gallantly walk away.”

NFL’s Chief Medical Officer Speaks Out About Tua Tagovailoa’s Scary Head Injury

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills addressed Tagovailoa’s injury with the Daily Mail this past Friday.

Obviously we’re always concerned when any of our players suffers an injury – of any type – and it’s our goal to prevent as many injuries as possible and certainly to quickly diagnose any injuries that occur and treat them appropriately,” Sills said. “I’m a neurosurgeon and I have spent my entire career treating people with brain and spinal cord injuries – both athletes and non-athletes – and it’s been my passion and practice and my livelihood for many decades. So I’m entirely devoted to this issue and the idea that NFL can and will be a leader in all of sport in this area. 

“We have made a number of changes to our concussion protocol … we take a very detailed and involved look at ourselves, our outcomes, our procedures every single year in the idea of getting better. And we have got better and I believe we’ll continue to get better. We will get better through this incident as well. That’s the nature of medicine. As a physician, I certainly don’t do things identical today to what I did five or 10 years ago. That quest to improve will continue.”

With Tagovailoa still in concussion protocol, backup Teddy Bridgewater will get the start against New York. Bridgewater signed a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with Miami this offseason and has 63 career starts under his belt.