We are less than a month away from the 2020 NFL Draft, and Tua Tagovailoa’s health continues to be the most discussed matter pertaining to this year’s draft class.
Many believe had Tagovailoa not gone down with a season-ending hip injury back in November of this past year that there would still be a clear-cut locked-in first overall pick in the draft. However, it would not be Joe Burrow, but rather Tagovailoa.
Yet, Tagovailoa did go down with a devastating hip injury, leaving many concerned for his future NFL prospects, but don’t group fellow Alabama alumn and perennial Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram in the group who doubt the quarterback’s NFL potential.
Mark Ingram: Tua Will Be a ‘Star’
Baltimore Ravens running back and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram made a guest appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday morning to discuss a plethora of things revolving around the football world. Yet, one of the more notable back and forths Ingram had with the panel was whether or not he had any concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s future in the NFL due to the numerous injuries he sustained during his college playing days.
While Ingram pointed to injuries as a thing that teams must take into consideration when selecting the quarterback come late April, it’s pretty clear he sees greatness in Tua’s future.
“Obviously injuries and availability is a huge part of being a pro and being in the NFL. I can understand durability concerns, but I think every player has durability concerns, man,” Ingram stated. “I just think the type of person he is, his accuracy, his accolades — the number of yards he threw for, the efficiency, even some mobility in the pocket, out of the pocket, I just think he has great potential, you know what I mean, to be a star in this league. And I think he will be a star in this league.”
Ingram Comments on Tua’s Viral Workout Clip
Ingram continued his hot take on the likely future top-10 pick, stating that he believes the quarterback is “recovering fine” and “moving good.”
“Obviously durability is a concern, because availability is the number one thing in the NFL,” Ingram said. “You’ve got to be available on Sundays. I can understand why there is a concern with his durability, but I think he’s recovering fine, he’s moving good, from the clips I’ve seen earlier this week and I’m hoping a great recovery for him.”
Of course one of the main clips Ingram is talking about is the snippet of Tagovailoa’s recent workouts that the ex-Maxwell Award winner tweeted out to the world earlier this week.
A Doctor’s Takeaway From Tua’s Workout
In a recent interview I had with Dr. Rand McClain of Regenerative & Sports Medicine, he uttered much of the same positive outlook that Ingram shared on First Take. With that said, he did point to some limitations demonstrated by Tua in the short clip.
“He is ahead of schedule for most people recovering from this type of injury. Now, that said, if you watch the very little bit of video, he is moving but not with a whole lot of motion – whether with flexion, extension, or rotation – and, he certainly isn’t being chased or hit, but he looks solid with the movement he is undertaking AT THIS POINT.”
While it’s certainly difficult to dissect Tagovailoa’s true progress from a meager 10-second clip, Dr. McClain seems fairly optimistic about the QB’s rehab.
“That’s [the movement Tua showed in the clip] nothing but good. It shows that he is not pushing too much, and he is definitely not lagging with rehabilitation.” Dr. McClain said. “No sign of pain or difficulty moving the way he did in the video. If he (and his trainers) can maintain the discipline of not trying to advance too quickly, it is looking very good for his complete recovery.”
No Pro Day, No Problem
Tagovailoa was recently cleared for all football activities earlier this month and had been planning on taking part in Alabama’s Pro Day on April 9th. However, the recent COVID-19 epidemic will likely not allow NFL organizations to get an up-close view on Tagovailoa’s progress.
However, Dr. McClain pointed to the cancelation of Tua’s pro day as a potential positive in the grand scheme of things.
“Coronavirus postponement could be helpful in that it could take some of the time pressure off of his recovery. Looking at him here in the video, knowing his injury, and his background, character and work ethic, it seems to me the only real barrier to his return at 100% would be trying to get there too quickly.”