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Podcast: Rachael Hearn on Tua Tagovailoa

Podcast: Rachael Hearn on Tua Tagovailoa

After watching the disturbing scenes on Thursday Night Football, I called up athletic trainer and CTE researcher, Rachael Hearn, to discuss:

  • The NFL’s concussion protocol

  • Diagnosing concussions

  • What it means for the Dolphins to have diagnosed a back injury rather than a head injury last Sunday

  • The feasibility of completing the protocol in two-to-four days

  • The role of the team physician, the training staff, and the independent neurologist

  • What is second impact syndrome — and what does that mean for Tua?

  • The fencing response

  • What happens next

  • The state of the NFL’s protocols

  • Legal liabilities

  • What the NFL & NFLPA will be looking for in their investigation

  • The differences between linear and rotational concussive forces

  • The issues with concussion and CTE research — and what needs to change

  • A whole bunch more

A quick note: My audio makes me sound like a robot on this one. Fortunately, Rachael is the one doing the talking. If you have any questions related to concussion or medical/training staff protocols, let me know, and I’ll put them to Rachael on a future podcast after the findings of the Tagovailoa investigation have been disclosed.

You can listen to the podcast through the site, on the Substack app or you can plug the RSS feed into your preferred podcast player and it will be updated automatically when new episodes are released – there will still be stand-alone posts you can click on when an episode is released. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry: it will be plug-and-play on each podcast post. 

If you need more help on how to get the RSS feed onto your preferred app, Substack has a helpful walkthrough here. Subscribe on your preferred feed — Apple Podcasts, for instance — and the feed will automatically update when a new podcast drops, as with any non-paywall podcast.

I have reached out to Substack to figure out how we can backfill some of the best conversations from across the offseason onto that podcast feed that were originally video only – a lot of those conversations are not time sensitive. 

The Read Optional
The Read Optional NFL Podcast
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