Neurologist who cleared Tua Tagovailoa of concussion fired for 'several mistakes'

The unaffiliated neurologist who cleared Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of concussion during last week's game against the Buffalo Bills has been fired.

ESPN is reporting that the dismissal came about due to "several mistakes" being discovered in his evaluation of the Dolphins' QB, who underwent tests at half-time of the game before playing out a 21-19 win.

Tagovailoa, however, suffered a scary concussion in Miami's next game, Thursday's 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, having been stretchered off and taken to hospital in the second quarter.

The NFL Players' Association (NFLPA) launched an investigation into a potential protocol violation after the Dolphins-Bills game, which remains ongoing.

The NFL and NFLPA put out a joint statement on Saturday stating a desire to improve the concussion protocol process.

"The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the concussion protocol are needed to enhance player safety," the statement said.

"The NFL and the NFLPA agree that The NFLPA's Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee and the NFL's Head Neck and Spine Committee have already begun conversations around the use of the term 'Gross Motor Instability' and we anticipate changes to the protocol being made in the coming days based on what has been learned thus far in the review process.

"The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety. This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play it for the past 12 seasons."

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel had defended his and his side's decision to allow Tagovailoa to play on against the Bills, insisting he had been passed protocols and been cleared by the independent neurologist.