The main story that dominated the bulk of Week 4 NFL action on Sunday was the concussion suffered by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
from Amazon Thursday night football the broadcast, particularly its halftime show, came under heavy criticism for failing to mention that Tagovailoa had been tested for a concussion in his previous game just four days earlier. Additionally, the NFL Players Association has called for an investigation into whether league concussion protocols were properly followed when evaluating Tagovailoa.
In light of that, how would Sunday’s NFL pre-game broadcasts address the concussion situation in Tagovailoa? Would they better educate viewers by covering the whole story, including the Week 3 controversy over whether or not to follow proper protocols?
We watched each of the four main pre-game shows – ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown, Fox NFL SundayCBS The NFL todayand NBC Football night in America – to compare how Tagovailoa’s story was covered. With the benefit of two extra days for research and reporting, did Sunday shows better inform and engage viewers?
Here’s how the pregame studio teams fared with what might be the most important NFL story of the year:
Sunday NFL Countdown – ESPN
ESPN’s pre-game show is the first to air each Sunday, airing at 10 a.m. ET. Therefore the Sunday NFL Countdown the crew had the opportunity to conduct the day’s conversation. With a longer three-hour show and more resources to use to cover a story like this, ESPN has taken full advantage of its position.
The show didn’t start with Tagovailoa’s story, opting to present Sunday’s schedule, which included a first game in London between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. But the Countdown the crew ended up speaking in everyone’s minds about 28 minutes into the program.
Insider Adam Schefter provided the latest on the NFL and NFLPA investigation into the matter, specifically the “gross motor instability” Tagovailoa showed while stumbling on the field and how the Dolphins initially announced that the quarterback suffered a head injury, but later changed his condition. to a back injury.
Schefter added that the NFL and NFLPA must question Tagovailoa and adopt new guidelines for concussion protocols, including that no player displaying “gross motor instability” will be allowed to play. These new rules could come into effect as early as week 5.
“This is an epic NFL failure,” Matt Hasselbeck said to begin the commentary. “This is an epic failure of the medical staff, an epic failure of everyone! Let’s learn from this!
Perhaps the strongest remarks came from Rex Ryan, who said coaches sometimes have to protect players from themselves.
“I had a simple philosophy as a coach: I treated every player like my son,” Ryan said. “Will you put your son back in this game after seeing this?
“Forget that ‘back and ankle’ BS we’ve been hearing about! It’s clearly a brain injury! That’s it. I know what it feels like. We all know what it feels like.
Where Sunday NFL CountdownThe cover of perhaps stood out the most by bringing in the injury analyst Stephanie Bell in the debate. Bell took a broader view of the story, explaining that concussions needed to be dealt with long-term and short-term. Science must advance; a definitive diagnostic tool for brain damage does not currently exist. Until then, a more conservative approach should be taken, keeping players out of action more often.
Rating: A Countdown covered the story thoroughly. But to be fair, he had the most time.
The NFL Today – CBS
The CBS pre-game show started with Tagovailoa’s story, going right to insider Jonathan Jones to report. He cited the key phrase “gross motor instability” as a significant indication of a concussion.
Jones also clarified that the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who helped assess Tagovailoa made “several errors” in consulting with the Dolphins’ team doctor, which led to his firing by the NFL and NFLPA.
The sharpest remarks came from Boomer Esiason, who said any insinuation that the Dolphins, head coach Mike McDaniel or team medical staff put Tagovailoa back in the game to win was “out of the question.” base”. Phil Simms added that concussion experts he spoke to said Tagovailoa could miss four to six weeks with the injury.
Category B-. Analyst opinions were largely bland. Jones’ reporting stood out.
Fox NFL Sunday
The Fox NFL pregame show also kicked off with Tagovailoa’s story, going over issues surrounding how the quarterback was treated in Week 3 before recapping his injury in the game. of week 4.
Jay Glazer reported on the NFL investigation, focusing on whether or not Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in Week 3. And if he did, why did he? allowed to play in week 4? Glazer noted that Tagovailoa could seek a second or even a third medical opinion on his injury.
Jimmy Johnson provided the most compelling commentary, sharing his perspective on the coaching side of the situation. He pointed out that when an injured player leaves the pitch, the coach has no contact with him. The medical team provides an update on whether the player can return or not. In Johnson’s view, Mike McDaniel did nothing wrong in his handling of the case. He must trust his medical staff.
Rating: B. Each of the analysts shared stronger opinions, in particular saying that a player who fails the “eyeball test” with symptoms of concussion should be treated seriously.
Football Night in America – NBC
Sunday night football was in a different setting than other pre-game shows, with Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison broadcasting on location from Tampa Bay. With that, the show kicked off covering the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, its effects on the Tampa area, and how the Buccaneers handled the situation during the week.
But after 20 minutes, the show made Tagovailoa history with Mike Florio reporting what his peers told viewers earlier today regarding pending changes to the NFL’s concussion protocol and “the gross motor instability” used as a major indicator.
Florio pointed out that the NFLPA would ask how Tagovailoa was examined and treated. Was he actually checked for a back injury in week 3? And if he did injure his back, why was he still allowed to play?
When the conversation returned to the team there, Dungy admitted playing Thursday night games had always been on his mind when he was a coach. He revealed teams playing a game on Thursday needed to have a bye the week before so they wouldn’t have to deal with a quick four-day turnaround. This programming must be taken into account for the safety of the players.
But Harrison had the most engaging reaction to the story, coming from his experience as a player. He admitted to telling doctors he was fine when he had concussion symptoms because he wanted to get back into the game. Knowing that was wrong, Harrison pleaded with current players to stay away when injured because “CTE takes you to a dark place”.
“It’s not worth it. Please take care of yourself,” Harrison said. “Don’t rely on the NFL. Don’t depend on anyone. If something is wrong with your head, report it.
Grade: B+. Dungy and Harrison’s views on the matter of their coaching and playing perspective were very compelling.