I’ve written about football and CTE for a long time for The Good Men Project.
The below statement from earlier this week by former Alabama star QB and current Miami Dolphins’ QB, Tua Tagovailoa, who has been at the center of the latest NFL controversy about head injuries and TBI, is pretty remarkable.
— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) October 19, 2022
Tua says he’s learned that QBs are less susceptible to CTE than players who are constantly hitting at other positions. Even QBs who have six concussions.
Based on everything I read and have learned, this statement may be true, as it pertains to CTE. The repetitive non-concussive hits that happen all over the line on every play are what leads to CTE.
(Of course concussions have their own harmful effect on the brain.)
But this shouldn’t make us (or them!) feel better about TBI and player safety. It should make us feel *worse* about the NFL as a whole.
The more important takeaway points – whether QBs have less incidence or CTE or not – are (a) Tua’s statement only shows how common CTE is across many positions (even though the hits often focused on by the media are on the QB), and (b) serial concussions give you brain damage.
I wonder how it will be reported and received. And I wonder whether and when the NFL will finally step up on this issue.
Every time there is a high profile injury or a situation when a player returns to the field too soon, there are whispers of real change. But we haven’t seen it yet. And here we have Tua appearing to talk himself back onto the field; instead, he should stop and listen to himself. We all should.
This Post is republished on Medium.
Photo credit: iStock
For more by Mike Kasdan on this topic:
As Another NFL Season Kicks Off, Catching Up With ‘The Man Whose Crusade [They Said] Could Change Football Forever,’ Six Years Later