Tua Tagovailoa injury history: Is it bad luck and is he worth the risk in 2020 NFL Draft?

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history is one of the big concerns heading into the 2020 NFL Draft but is the Alabama quarterback injury-prone or a victim of bad luck?

Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s injury history could keep him from being drafted as high as he’d like in the 2020 NFL Draft, but is he worth the risk for teams like the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers?

Tua’s injury history is the biggest thing keeping him from being a consensus top-two pick. After fracturing and dislocating his hip in mid-November, Tua has run the gauntlet from this being a career-ending injury like Bo Jackson to being fully cleared and ready to compete without restriction, according to Yahoo Sports.

So much for this being a career-ending injury. It was just a temporary setback.


There had been a notion that Tua might have to “redshirt” his rookie season before being cleared for his second year, but now all that is out the window and he should be ready to go right away.

His NFL Draft stock should be soaring, but it’s the concern that Tua’s injury concerns are more than just one fluke injury.

And to be clear, the play that resulted in his fractured hip is a fluke that isn’t likely to happen again.

But what is concerning for the teams considering drafting the prolific Alabama quarterback is he’s had a number of injuries that have kept him off the field or limited what he could do on the field.

In fact, injuries have limited Tua more than most of the defenses he faced in his college career.

Tua has had a hand injury he suffered in spring practices in 2018, a sprained ankle later that year that required surgery so he could return sooner and another sprained ankle that required an operation so he could return for the LSU game. All of that preceded the fractured hip.

NFL teams aren’t going to be concerned about a hand sprain suffered in spring practice. He recovered. It was fine. No big deal. However, what is concerning is his tendency to suffer severe ankle sprains.

The good thing is it isn’t related to his arm or shoulder and he hasn’t torn his ACL or suffered any serious damage to his knees. But the nagging sprained ankles that keep him out for multiple weeks could be an issue that causes NFL teams to think twice about drafting him.

Is that the right mindset?

I’d say being afraid to draft a potential franchise quarterback like Tua because he’s had two badly sprained ankles is not a way to build a team. Tua’s arm talent is arguably better than presumptive No. 1 pick Joe Burrow but the former LSU quarterback doesn’t carry any of the injury risks.

If I’m the Redskins, Lions, Dolphins or Chargers who are picking in the top-six of the draft, I’m not worried enough about Tua’s injury history to pass him up if he’s the best player on my board.

The Redskins have to consider if they want to move forward with last year’s No. 1 pick Dwayne Haskins while the Lions have to consider if it’s time to move on from Matthew Stafford. The former is a much easier decision to make than the latter.

The Dolphins and Chargers both have glaring needs for a quarterback and could be potentially interested in trading up for Tua if they share the same lack of glaring concern over his injury past.

If I had to bet, Tua will be on one of those two teams.

Had Tua missed considerable time in college as a result of injuries, it would be a different situation, but he has extensive game tape to show teams what he’s fully capable of. And he’s capable of being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in the near future.

If you have a chance to get that player, you don’t worry about sprained ankles and a fluky hip injury he’s already recovered quicker than anyone would have imagined.

Best college football QB's of the 21st century. dark. Next

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.