Another Thursday Night Football game, another head injury. Last week, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was slammed into the turf and diagnosed with a concussion. Last night’s third play from scrimmage saw Colts running back Nyheim Hines suffer a similarly unfortunate fate. Hines took a routine hit by NFL standards. As he was helped to his feet, his legs gave out. It was initially impossible for Hines to stand on his own, which is a key indicator of motor instability.
Hines eventually did walk to the locker room under his own power but was quickly ruled out for the rest of Thursday’s snoozer against the Broncos with a concussion. Last night’s incident was similar to the first of two head injuries suffered by Tagovailoa in a five-day span. The Dolphins quarterback showed similar symptoms against the Bills in Week 3 to Hines’ stumbling nature in Denver. The NFL allowed Tua to return to that game after clearing concussion protocol, which is currently under investigation. Hines was starting in place of injured Jonathan Taylor.
Head injuries are unavoidable in tackle football. Preventing extensive and further damage when they occur is why Tagovailoa’s case has become a focal point of the NFL season. Hines’ inability to stand brought up flashbacks of Tua seven days earlier. The epidemic of concussions, CTE, and head injuries will be talked about at every game until major changes occur, as this is a weekly issue in the NFL.
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As of Friday morning, the Colts ,nor the NFL, have officially made a statement on the severity of Hines’ injury beyond him missing most of Thursday’s game because of the concussion. Tagovailoa has already been ruled out of Miami’s game this week against the Jets. His timetable to return is also unknown a week after his confirmed concussion. If the NFL was looking to keep progress of its investigation into Tagovailoa returning to the field quiet, Hines’ head injury further ensures this won’t be forgotten.