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Visit BetterHelp.com slash positive and save 10% on your first month. Dr. Chow, how are you? I'm doing fine. You know, I hate to be coming on in these circumstances, but the good news is there was no neck injury like we thought, and he is being discharged from the hospital and he's flying home with the team.
So at least those are some good pieces of news. Yes, we just learned he left the game with head and neck injuries. He's going to travel back to Miami with the team. Having said that, we know that the NFL Players Association, they already wanted to go ahead and investigate what took place this past Sunday when Tua was allowed to continue on in the game. What was your level of concern having seen that play and knowing that the Dolphins said it was only a back issue? Well, in real time, when I saw the play, I tweeted that when there are clear neurological signs, outward signs, it doesn't matter if you pass the rest of the concussion protocol. You are ruled out, period, end of discussion, and I said that in real time. Now, the only exception for that, of course, is somehow they determined it was a neurologic issue when he stumbled, and that's what was reported to be determined, that it was his back. He indeed hurt his back in the first quarter before he left in the second quarter on the quarterback sneak when he was hyperextended his back, but I wasn't there. There are certainly question marks, and if it was a neurologic sign, he needed to be ruled out. If it indeed was his back and his head cleared, and it wasn't just the Miami doctors. Remember, independent neurologist on the sideline, the Red Hats, they're independent from the team. They're jointly appointed by the NFLPA and NFL, so they answer to both sides.
That person also cleared Tua. It's common for the NFL to make phone calls and investigate themselves quietly. The PA is doing it in a public way, and they should. If there's nothing to hide, let them investigate.
If there is something to hide, they should find out and expose what happened. Absolutely. Dr. David Chow is joining us. Very familiar with the situation. Have been lead doctor for the Chargers for years. Based on what we saw tonight, knowing what took place this past Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, what should everybody's level of concern be here for Tua Tonga Veloa? Well, I like to try and give people some reassurances.
It's my preference always to deliver positive news rather than negative news. From the get-go, when he was announced leaving on the stretcher with head and neck injuries, I was like, it's not going to be a neck. It's not going to be a spinal cord.
This is not Ryan Shazier. It looks very scary, I get you, but it's not going to be a serious neck issue, and so far it's not, thankfully. As far as head injuries are concerned, it's very concerning when you see someone, let's say, have a seizure or a mini seizure.
I'm not saying that's what Tua did. It's very concerning when you see someone fence or posture. What we call it is the corticate posturing. Your brain sends a lot of different electrical signals, and you see it in his fingers and his wrist and his elbows and his arms, and that's what we saw. It's very disconcerting to see that, but the good news is it's usually very temporary, and I'm not poo-pooing this whole thing. Look, if it indeed was a second impact, that makes it a bigger deal, longer recovery, we always worry about CTE, you know, let the facts be what they are, but part of it is just the scariness of the posturing that gets everyone talking about this. But thankfully, that in and of itself isn't always an indicator of a super severe concussion, so to speak.
Well, Dr. Chow, final question here with you. They don't play again, and this is a good amount of time, until October 9th, they'll be in New York taking on the Giants, or excuse me, the Jets. No reason for Tua not to participate in that game, right?
Well, too early to tell, right? I mean, if he has head injury symptoms still, and symptoms that go beyond tonight, he shouldn't play. If for some reason it's determined that this is a second concussion, he absolutely should not play.
A simple rule of thumb, and it's not always this simple, is one concussion you're out for at least a week, a second concussion in the same season you're out for at least a month, a third concussion you're out for the season, it's overly simplified. The doctors need to look at him and do what's right. Look, his mom and dad were with them, I've met them before, they're very loving, they're going to do what's right by their son, as they should. And look, just for everyone to remember before you squirts the Dolphins or the NFL, Tua is the one who also said, it was my back. Now, did the Dolphins convince him to lie?
I doubt it, right? Tua isn't filing a complaint, it's the PA, and it's their right, and they should be able to do so. And I'm not taking any sides on this, I'm just saying, let's let the process play out, and hopefully it'll be okay. The first step is he's flying home, we can start seeing his symptoms. If he doesn't have symptoms going forward, it's not impossible for him to play, but I guarantee you the NFL is going to take a lot of scrutiny at this, because they don't want to reframe a CT and head injury scandal.
Oh, absolutely. Doctor, just giving my perspective, I'm not a doctor, I'm just somebody who's hit his head, I'm someone who's been in a car accident, I know what it feels like to, you know, feel like you got your bell rung. Watching his head slam on the turf on Sunday don't look great. Looking at his head or watching him get rag-dolled into the turf tonight does not look good. And I say to myself, you know what, I don't want to see the guy play until I know, like, for sure, he's going to be smooth.
The game is dangerous enough as it is. What would you say to people who say, man, he shouldn't have been out there in the first place, and he shouldn't be there, based on what we've seen just this entire week? Well, it's easy to make all sorts of conclusions from afar.
I mean, look, who is their guy, they've got a new head coach, they've got something happening, they're doing well, he's their future, why would you want to jeopardize the future to win a regular season game? You know, look, let the facts play out, I get the realistic questions, I get the natural reaction to the posturing that happened. Thankfully, step one, check, no serious neck injury. Step two, check, discharge from the hospital, flying home with the team. Step three is hopefully he clears very quickly from symptoms. Step four is nothing long term. And step five or six or seven is eventually getting back to playing if he chooses to.
And let's leave it up to the medical doctors, to his own doctors, I'm sure his agent and family will get involved, and let them decide on their own time what is best for him. And we'll go from there. Dr. Chow, I appreciate you taking the time to lend your expertise. Always appreciate it. Thank you, Jr. No doubt about it, Dr. David Chow joining us, the JR Sport Reef Show, here with us on CBS Sports Radio. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Chow. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Chow. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Chow. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Chow. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Chow.
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