to start looking down the road. With the league in discussion about an enhanced pain guideline, Tagovailoa has set up an online platform to offer patients what he calls a “toolbox” to reduce injuries. He’s also looking into a new way of handling concussions, using a system called “vacuum tag” to treat concussions.
“When you have a concussive injury, there are two areas for people to start looking into,” Tagovailoa said. “One is to understand why there was a concussion, and what the signs/symptoms are. The second of course is to see if there’s any physical signs of a concussion. Then people are more prone to be less vigilant in going in and getting an exam and not following through on the recommended exam.
“Concussions are pretty common,” Tagovailoa continued. “I think the public should understand that the vast majority of concussions are secondary. There are two reasons people get concussions, and one is an overuse that takes place. The second is injury, which a lot of people don’t pay much attention to because it can be a minor strain, but they do and when you get a bigger strain like that, it takes a toll on your body and you may not be able to play.
“This toolbox approach that I have is designed to reduce that frequency of injuries going forward.”
There are other ways for patients to get a head start on improving their health. Tagovailoa had a stroke that required several operations during his senior season at Alabama. Tagovailoa said it led to him having a couple of complications with his head injury. He’s also battled head, throat, liver, kidney and eye infections during his career.
“This is not something that I ever expected or hoped for, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s one of my life-altering injuries,” Tagovailoa said. “I was told over and over that I would never play football again and there are still times I am surprised by it because I would say I’m pretty well-adjusted to my life now.”