The doctors who performed the surgery are hopeful Tagovailoa can resume athletic activity in three months and start throwing again by the spring.
"Tua's prognosis is excellent, and we expect him to make a full recovery," Alabama orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said. "He will return to Tuscaloosa in the next several days to begin his rehab."
The expected timeline for Tagovailoa would allow him to start throwing ahead of the 2020 NFL draft, which starts April 23.
However, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Tagovailoa would require at least six months to recover.
Many expected the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up to forgo his senior year at Alabama and head for the NFL. In his most recent big board Nov. 5, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Tagovailoa third overall in the draft class.
Now, Tagovailoa's future is a little less straightforward. Miller reported Monday on Stick to Football that Tagovailoa has an insurance policy against an injury that causes him to fall in the draft:
An NFL executive told Thamel that Tagovailoa could be a late first-round pick.
For some perspective, Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White, the No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft, received $29.3 million guaranteed over four years on his rookie contract. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, the 25th pick, got $11.8 million over four years.
Were he to return to Alabama for his senior year, Tagovailoa might increase his odds of being a top-five pick in 2021 and position himself for a bigger payday. That may not be a concern for him, however, depending on the terms of his insurance policy. And he could risk further injury or another injury.
Assuming his stock doesn't fall precipitously in the months ahead, declaring for the draft is arguably Tagovailoa's best move.