NFL fans are worried for the health of Tua Tagovailoa after an image emerged focusing on the Miami Dolphins quarterback‘s fingers following an on-field injury. Some fear it’s a sign of a brain injury.
Tua Tagovailoa has been a star quarterback since college. On Thursday night (September 29), Tagovailoa was taken off during the Dolphins’ game against the Bengals after he was sacked by Josh Topau. Tagovailoa was down for seven minutes before being stretchered off the pitch and taken to Cincinnati Medical Center.
Tagovailoa’s second injury in a week
That wasn’t Tagovailoa’s first injury this week either. In Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa’s head slammed on the ground after he was driven back by Matt Milano.
Despite the apparent head injury, the quarterback returned for the second half of the game, helping them win. However, some fans were alarmed to see Tagovailoa playing against the Bengals, even more so when he took another heavy hit.
After the game, the Miami Dolphins tweeted Tagovailoa would be discharged in time to return home with the rest of the team:
Position of Tua Tagovailoa’s fingers worries fans
While watching last night’s game, some fans noticed Tagovailoa’s fingers in an unusual position and claimed it could be caused by a condition called decorticate posturing. This can occur when the joints and limbs become involuntarily stiff due to brain damage.
Now, some football fans fear for Tagovailoa’s health and are calling for longer recovery time for all players following a head injury:
Others chose to call on the NFL to act:
Other explanations why Tua’s fingers appeared as they did
Of course, the images of Tua Tagovailoa’s fingers and hands are concerning for fans. However, it doesn’t automatically mean a severe brain injury. There could be other explanations as to why his fingers are bent that way.
During the broadcast, commentator Al Michaels and analyst Kirk Herbstreit suggested the crookedness of the quarterback’s fingers could have been a response to the neurological shock of the impact. And, although that still sounds scary, it isn’t necessarily permanent.
The Miami Dolphins also took to Twitter to reassure fans Tagavailoa was in full control of his hands when he arrived at hospital:
Cincinnati Medical Center (CMC) is a level 1 trauma response center, meaning it’s geared to deal with traumatic emergencies. CMC wouldn’t have discharged Tagovailoa if experts didn’t think it was safe to do so.
Fans send prayers
Regardless of the severity of Tua’s injuries, there has been an outpouring of thoughts and prayers from fans to the quarterback as they hope Tagovailoa makes a rapid recovery:
The NFL Players Association released a statement following his injury: