There are "bad looks" and then there's this smoking gun.
We all want to believe that everyone involved in evaluating any traumatic head injury for an NFL player has their best interests in mind. That doesn't seem to be the case for the NFL's alleged neutral party, the "Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant" who is specifically in place to make sure an NFL team's in-house medical staff doesn't make a biased decision on whether or not to clear a player from concussion protocols.
Well in this instance...the "neutral" and "objective" expert in this field fucked up in a big way.
Does this 100% mean that Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in the first half of the Miami Dolphins' game last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills? No, but it certainly plants a legitimate seed of doubt in even the most optimistic folks who believed everyone around Tua had his best interests in mind. This calls into question whether Tua should've played at all on Thursday night, when he was slammed to the turf and left on a stretcher with a concussion.
The NFLPA is in the midst of investigating whatever happened when Tua was cleared to reenter Week 3's game in Miami. That something this significant has already leaked suggests at least some sort of gross malpractice and oversight occurred. We may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Tua flew home on the Dolphins' plane following his officially diagnosed concussion on Thursday. The fact that he was discharged from the Cincinnati hospital he was rushed to so soon lends some credence to the possibility that he may not have been concussed against Buffalo. At least he seems to be in good spirits about what was a downright horrifying situation:
Fins head coach Mike McDaniel has firmly stood behind the team's process of evaluating Tua from last Sunday in multiple meetings with the media in the wake of Thursday's loss to the Bengals. This piece of news undercuts a lot of credibility as far as whatever process was used to clear Tua before.
Speaking of which, here's a Saturday evening update for you: