It’s been a rough season for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa to say the least. After dealing with an ankle injury for much of the season, Tua sustained a dislocated right hip during the Crimson Tide’s win over Mississippi State this past weekend. He underwent successful surgery Monday and is expected to miss the rest of the college football season.
The initial results on the surgery are encouraging, so at this point Tagovailoa’s career as the Bama starting QB is likely over. He isn’t returning this season and is expected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, though I guess he could consider returning for his senior season depending on how his hip heals.
Injury expert Will Carroll shared some thoughts on Tua’s injury and possible comparisons:
The best comp for Tua Tagovailoa isn’t Bo Jackson. It’s Dennis Pitta. Same fx-disloc, similar mechanism, both very athletic for their position. Pitta came back, but wasn’t able to play at same level again.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) November 17, 2019
This is simply an injury comp, with Carroll explaining that former NFL tight end Dennis Pitta went through a similar situation and was able to play. He sustained his injury in July 2013 and was playing by December, so that would be in like with a 4-month timeline. That would mean Tagovailoa could be up and running by March, so there’s an outside chance Tua would be able to partake in the 2020 NFL Draft combine at the end of February.
At this point, there’s no way the team with the No. 1 overall pick will risk taking Tagovailoa when there’s an almost equal, if not better QB prospect in LSU’s Joe Burrow. Plus, some of the teams who could end up with the top selection (Cincinnati, Miami, Washington) all have needs all over their rosters. Some mock drafts have Tua dropping out of the first round entirely because of the injury, so it would be wise for him to return for Nick Saban’s squad in 2020 and prove he’s 100% healthy.