Taking a closer look at who had final say over whether Tua Tagovailoa should have played on Thursday night

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The situation last week in Miami raised plenty of questions regarding organizational dynamics and decision-making. The situation became complicated by the fact that owner Stephen Ross is suspended, through Week Six.

Basically, the Dolphins are a ship without a captain.

Based on conversations with sources from various teams, the Ross suspension didn’t really affect anything. In situations like this, the team physician makes the call, with the General Manager having the final say.

Dr. John Uribe is the team physician. Chris Grier is the G.M. For the Dolphins, Grier has final say over all football decisions. Per multiple sources throughout the league, the owner does not make or interfere with those decisions.

Even if owner involvement would be unprecedented in a situation like this, the situation itself was unprecedented. Someone needed raise tough questions in the building about why Tua was cleared to return to play, and whether a higher bar should have been applied to the question of whether he would play only four days later.

An owner can, if not suspended and if so inclined, at least ask those questions. Remember, one of the benefits of being a billionaire is not having to give direct orders. The owner is ultimately responsible for everything the team does. If the owner raises internally the questions that many were raising externally (and owners ABSOLUTELY are influenced by things being said by those not in the building), maybe someone would have decided to give Tua the night off, all things considered.

Uribe could have done it. Grier could have done it. Ross, if not suspended, could have asked enough questions to get either Uribe or Grier to wonder whether they should do it.

Whether Tua should have been allowed to keep playing last Sunday is one issue. Whether Tua should have been allowed to play on Thursday is another. Official concussion or no official concussion, Tua had back and ankle issues. Throw in the concern about his return on Sunday, and maybe — just maybe — Ross would have planted enough seeds to get Uribe and/or Grier to decide to keep Tua from playing without Ross having to tell them to not let him play.

Taking a closer look at who had final say over whether Tua Tagovailoa should have played on Thursday night originally appeared on Pro Football Talk