The National Football League is still dealing with the fallout of a severe concussion suffered by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tagovailoa suffered a frightening head injury just days after suffering a concussion against the Buffalo Bills, leading to widespread public outcry over how Tagovailoa's initial injury was handled.
Joe Burrow, the quarterback of the Bengals, was on the other sideline when Tagovailoa's injury occurred. During a Wednesday press conference, Burrow said he had reached out to Tagovailoa and also opened up on the inherent risks of playing football and his own experiences with concussions"
"Stuff like that happens all the time... I've never had a headache the next day from a concussion. But I've had games, high school, college, NFL, that maybe I don't remember the rest of the game but I don't have any side effects other than that. So I don't know if you would call that a concussion or not. But definitely some kind of head injury for sure."
The graphic nature of Tagovailoa's head injury has resulted in the league's protocols being put under a microscope. After his head hit the turf when taking a sack, Tagovailoa was knocked out and went into the fencing position -- an unnatural position of the arms following an injury to the brain -- before being taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital.
Much of the discourse surrounding Tagovailoa has centered around the idea that the Dolphins quarterback should never have been playing to begin with after suffering a concussion just days before against the Bills.
But Burrow pointed out that, even as they try to keep players safe, players often push to ignore their symptoms in hopes to get back on the field as soon as possible.
"There's not a lot you can do if he's withholding symptoms unless you want to go down the road of taking a healthy player out when maybe he actually doesn't have a concussion but the play looked like he did. I think it's a tough spot," Burrow said. "I think the league does a good job for the most part if there is a tough hit they get the guy out of there and they go evaluate him.
"If he is good they send him back in. If he's not they take him out. It's a tough job. I'm glad I don't have that job, for sure."