Tua Tagovailoa’s injury status has been widely debated leading up to the NFL draft. Part of the challenge is that NFL team doctors have not been able to examine Tagovailoa before the draft given the league’s current meeting restrictions as a response to COVID-19.
Tagovailoa sustained a dislocated hip against Mississippi State in November which ended his season and would be his final game in an Alabama uniform. The challenge is Tagovailoa’s recent hip surgery is not the only injury the quarterback sustained while in college. ESPN’s Stephania Bell provided a detailed explanation of Tagovailoa’s injury.
It’s a right hip dislocation and posterior wall fracture. The hip joint is composed of the “ball” portion (the round head of the femur, or thigh bone) and the “socket” portion (the deep, saucer-shaped acetabulum, which is part of the pelvis). The joint is inherently stable and requires a great deal of force to disrupt, but a high-energy impact in just the right direction can cause the ball to move out of position relative to the socket, resulting in a dislocation.
Tagovailoa also underwent surgery for a high-ankle sprain in 2018. Months later Tagovailoa hurt both ankles during the SEC Championship.
Tagovailoa Described Himself as “100 Percent” Healthy
During an interview on April 1 with ESPN, Tagovailoa described himself as “100 percent” healthy. As for his return timeline, it sounds like the former Alabama quarterback is expecting to play this NFL season.
“I’d say I’m 100 percent right now,” Tagovailoa told ESPN. “I’m just ready to go…I feel like if I had to go out there and perform the same way I did my sophomore year and my junior year, being 100 percent healthy, I feel like I’d be able to go out there and do that.”
Tagovailoa participated in his pro day which was conducted virtually for teams and has been posting videos of on-field workouts.
The Dolphins Gave Tagovailoa a Passing Grade on His Physical But 2 NFL Teams Reportedly Failed the QB
The Dolphins have been unable to meet with the quarterback since the NFL Combine, but the Miami Herald reported that the team doctors “examined Tagovailoa extensively” in Indianapolis. The conclusion for the Dolphins’ medical staff was Tagovailoa was given a “passing grade.” Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported that not every team is as convinced about Tagovailoa’s health.
He’s QB2 in my rankings and one of my favorite people and players in this class, but a broken hand (plus surgery), two ankle surgeries and the major hip injury are huge question marks that are tough to check off your list of worries when you can’t get him in for physicals and have your own doctors evaluate his medicals.
Former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi reported on his podcast The GM Shuffle that two teams “flunked” Tagovailoa after conducting physicals. Lombardi is likely referring to exams performed at the NFL Combine which was just a few weeks before the league halted in-person meetings.
“Two teams that I’ve talked to have flunked him,” Lombardi said, per Radio.com. “They’ve flunked him on not just the hip, [but] on the multitude of injuries. The risk far outweighs the reward.”