Tua Tagovailoa Talks Possibly Entering NFL Draft, Injury Recovery and More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 9:   Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Starkville, Mississippi.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa hasn't ruled out a move to the NFL in 2020 despite suffering a season-ending dislocated hip in November.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Tagovailoa said he hasn't yet made a decision regarding his future but that he might be swayed depending on what kind of projection he receives for the 2020 NFL draft.

"I think that'd be tough to pass up, but I think there's a lot more to it in that aspect," Tagovailoa said when asked if being forecast as a top-15 pick would be enough to convince him, per ESPN's Field Yates.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up spoke about his recovery as well. He said that while doctors expect him to make a full recovery, the injury will likely leave a permanent impact.

Alex Scarborough @AlexS_ESPN

Tua says he won’t be able to rotate his hip the same way again -- an inward motion he says isn’t key to running -- but doctors overall expect a full recovery and he’ll be 100 percent again.

As soon as it became clear Tagovailoa suffered a significant hip injury, many fans immediately thought of Bo Jackson.

Jackson's NFL career ended after the 1990 season due to a hip injury when he was only 28. His case differs from Tagovailoa, however, because he was also diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a problem that wasn't discovered until a month after the original injury.

In Tagovalioa's case, doctors acted quickly to address his situation. He was hurt in Alabama's 38-7 win over Misssissippi State on Nov. 16. Two days later, he underwent surgery.

The Crimson Tide quarterback said he had reached out to Jackson for advice while acknowledging their diverging health tracks.


Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa says he has talked to Bo Jackson about recovering from his hip injury and "not trying to rush the process" https://t.co/qzVIMUsCPm @Tuaamann #RollTide https://t.co/jXO2o44MqO

Tagovailoa confirmed Thursday he has started his rehab and provided an encouraging update on his progression already.

Mike Rodak @mikerodak

Tua Tagovailoa says he had his first rehab session Wednesday in Birmingham and “they were surprised” with how much movement he could do with his leg against resistance.

When it comes to the next step in his football career, the junior has until Jan. 20 before he has to make up his mind.

Dr. Lyle Cain, an orthopedic surgeon from Alabama, said in November that Tagovailoa should be able to start throwing again by the spring. That will make it almost impossible to get an accurate idea of likely draft position within the next month.

But it would appear his stock hasn't taken a massive hit as a result of the injury.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected Tagovailoa as the No. 10 overall pick to the Los Angeles Chargers in his most recent mock draft.