Dr. Bennet Omalu may have discovered Chronic Traumatic Enchelopathy, but he still has a lot to learn when it comes to how the brains of football players are wired.
Omalu, whose efforts to make the NFL take head trauma seriously were the subject of the film Concussion, told TMZ.com in the aftermath of Sunday's Bills-Dolphins game that Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should not have re-entered the game. More specifically, Omalu said that Tua should have refused to return to play.
"Your life should be worth more to you than any amount of money," Omalu said. "Your life is worth more than $10 billion, 'cause you can't replace your life. You have only one life. . . . The duty falls on the players. The NFL did not point a gun on his head and say, 'You must go back to play.' He could have said, 'No.'"
He could have, but he wouldn't have. Football players want to play football. Especially when questions continue to linger about the player's overall ability and durability - and when the player is backed up by someone who wasn't bashful about suggesting that there may be a path to playing.
As explained on Wednesday's PFT Live, we'll defer further comment on the Tua situation until the investigation initiated by the NFL Players Association concludes. Obviously, however, Tua seemed to be wobbly due not to a back injury but a head injury. Common sense points directly to that conclusion.
So what happened in the locker room to overcome common sense? That's what we need to find out. Still, in no case should the player be blamed for doing what the player naturally and fervently wants to do. It's for those charged with protecting the player to understand that they also need to protect the player from himself.
Bennet Omalu faults Tua Tagovailoa for staying in the game originally appeared on Pro Football Talk