In two weeks, when the league convenes at the NFL scouting combine, team doctors will be hovering by the CT scan and MRI machines, breathlessly awaiting the results on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and his injured hip.
But Tagovailoa reportedly has received some positive news heading into the event.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Tagovailoa’s three-month CT scan on his fractured hip was positive, indicating that he’s healing as well as could be hoped. The report stated that Tagovailoa’s range of motion also is good, which is another positive development.
Tagovailoa will attend the combine, conduct interviews and undergo medical evaluation. But he hasn’t yet been cleared for any football-related activities and likely won’t be until some time in March.
It’s not known whether Tagovailoa will be able to perform at Alabama’s pro day, which is scheduled for March 24, but he has said he hopes to work out prior to the draft, which begins on April 23. Bama typically has held its pro day earlier in March, so it’s entirely possible that the school delayed the event to give Tagovailoa a chance to work out in front of the who’s who of the NFL’s decision-makers.
Tagovailoa originally suffered the dislocated hip and fractured posterior wall against Mississippi State on Nov. 16. On the play in which he got hurt, Tagovailoa also suffered a broken nose and a concussion. He was carted off the field and flown to a Birmingham hospital, and Tagovailoa eventually underwent surgery with Houston-based Dr. Chip Routt — the orthopedic surgeon who is considered one of the leading experts in pelvic fractures — in Houston on Nov. 18.
LSU’s Joe Burrow is expected to be the first player drafted in 2020, but a healthy Tagovailoa might not have to wait too long to hear his name called. If the medical reports continue to be positive, he could be taken as early as the third overall selection. That pick is owned by the Detroit Lions, who could trade the pick to a QB-needy team.
The Miami Dolphins, picking fifth overall, are one of the teams expected to be most interested in Tagovailoa. But the Los Angeles Chargers, who on Monday bid farewell to longtime QB Philip Rivers, also would have to be on that list, among other teams.
The three-month checkup is an important milestone for Tagovailoa, but there are other big hurdles remaining, starting with the combine and continuing with his predraft workout, if it happens.
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