The fallout from the Tua Tagovailoa injuries is just beginning. The team let him come back from an injury week 3 (the team insists it was not neurological), and he suffered a head injury in week 4 and had to be taken to the hospital. Now players are speaking out, there’s a media uproar, and a neurotrauma consultant involved in clearing the quarterback has been fired. Additionally, the league and union have already agreed to update concussion protocols, which might even be in effect by the time you read this column.

Many qualified, intelligent people will debate whether these injuries were related and avoidable by a negligent staff, or simply an unfortunate part of the game that the team could not foresee. I am not one of those people. I do, however, have an interest in player safety and I want to understand the impact any new policies will have on our game. And I think it’s important that we consider adapting to changes the league might make.

Officially, “gross motor instability” will become a factor in determining whether a player can return to a game, or be cleared to play in the next one as part of the concussion protocol. Unofficially, the league wants no hint of a repeat problem like Miami had. That means more players will be declared out of games out of an abundance of caution.

That policy might be good for player safety, but it will have a negative impact on fantasy teams. We’ve all had players exit a game early and watch helplessly as they derail our team’s chances that week. I think it will become much more frequent, especially at the skill positions we use to compose our lineups. And really, our options are limited.

One thing we can consider are team quarterbacks. Some leagues do this already, and it would certainly help avoid taking a zero from an important position. You get whatever stats are earned by that team’s quarterback(s) for that game. You don’t select Patrick Mahomes; you select Kansas City. Aside from bye weeks, you’re covered no matter what happens.

I like this option because it gives you a safety net, but not a generous one. If Mahomes or Josh Allen leave a game early, having Chad Henne and Case Keenum is better than nothing. On the other hand, your opponent isn’t exactly shaking in their boots, either. You get something, and they still have an advantage. It’s also easy to understand and causes little disruption. The quarterback position (and kicker, if your league has one) can definitely benefit from making it a team spot.

For running backs and receivers (and even tight ends), it’s a little trickier. You can’t have team spots for them, because multiple players contribute to the position. One option is substitute players, whose scores are included if a skill position gets injured early in a game. If in the first half (or the first quarter, or whatever the league decides) a player is declared out, the sub’s score that week is calculated instead. You could designate one for running backs and one for receivers, and they only count if the team declares them out for the remainder of the game.

While that might take care of the problem, it’s tough to implement and is unlikely to work in a typical league. It’s too complicated and can be confusing on game day when you see your opponent’s lineup. At some point, we have to accept that injuries are part of the game. Unfortunately, it could very well become an even bigger part of the game going forward, and mitigating the damage to your roster isn’t easy.

As a football fan, I’m glad when the league does things to protect players. And as a fantasy football player, I want to keep lineups intact while accepting that players might get held out of games more frequently. I don’t really have a good solution aside from team quarterbacks. Do you? Am I making a bigger deal out of this than I should? Is it just another obstacle in our game that we’ll have to manage? Do we just hope for the best, or are there ways to adjust our lineups to accommodate players missing more time? And can we do anything now, or is it something to handle in the offseason, if at all? Let me know if you think we need solutions, and what they might be. If nothing else, it will take my mind off the Javonte Williams injury, which didn't do my fantasy team any favors. Good luck this week.