Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa began the 2019 college football season as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick with the ‘Tank for Tua’ campaign a very real thing. At least, it was very real among fanbases longing for a franchise quarterback.
Then came his unfortunate hip injury on November 16 and everything changed. Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip and a posterior wall fracture. He had surgery on November 18 and his recovery time, even during February’s NFL Combine, has been relatively unclear.
To make matters worse, the COVID-19 outbreak has the usual draft process on hold. Medical re-checks aren’t happening and there’s a chance teams won’t have an up-close look at Tagovailoa (and his recovery) before draft weekend rolls around on April 23.
All reports since the injury have been positive, including the initial medical at the Combine. Tagovailoa’s on pace for a full recovery, and if the Instagram video he shared Monday is any indication, he’s pretty close to hitting that mark already.
— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerezNFL) March 24, 2020
Does that look like a guy whose 2020 season has been in doubt since suffering the injury? If anything, Tagovailoa looks as healthy has he has in a long time. His movements appear effortless, albeit in a very controlled environment. Plus, these reps could be his best of the day (or of the week) and he’s patched them together.
Regardless, Tagovailoa will be healthy in time for the 2020 season. That’s obvious by these clips.
The biggest winner from this development is the Detroit Lions, who own the No. 3 overall pick and control the Tagovailoa conversation. If a team like the Los Angeles Chargers decide to they have to have him, the Lions could be in a position to grab a bounty of picks. Even the Miami Dolphins could decide they’d rather trade up instead of risk another team jumping them.
Regardless of which team it is, you can bet that there will be a trade with Detroit to grab Tua. And hey, maybe the Lions will just stay put and take him as the successor to Matthew Stafford. We’ve seen crazier things happen in the NFL Draft.