Former Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich, an ESPN analyst, said Friday that he was “disgusted” with the NFL. He became emotional when commenting on Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins’ second concussion in a week.
After being knocked to the floor by a tackle, Tagovailoa was taken to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Tagovailoa appeared to be contorting his hands.
Ninkovich lashed at the NFL for allowing Tagovailoa to return on the field during a panel Friday morning.
“I was disgusted when I saw this last night, in NFL, in Dolphins, they should have been sick to their stomachs with protocols that have failed Tua. They did not protect the player. The player is trying to play the game they love.
Ninkovich also discussed how injuries can cause severe problems. He then recalled Junior Seau’s suicide as a result of brain disease. (RELATED: Former First Round NFL Pick Rashard Anderson Dead At 45)
Ninkovich began to cry, saying, “I’ve seen too much guys going through a lot of things, and it’s unfortunate.” “So I don’t want families to have to go through this, and you don’t know, it’s not your fault.”
Seau, who was suffering from chronic trauma encephalopathy, fatally shot himself in his chest in 2012. His family sent his brain for tests to see if there was any connection between the injuries he sustained playing football and his death.