The Alabama quarterback and projected no.1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft was carted off the field with a hip injury against Mississippi State Nov. 16.
Alabama was up 35-7 at the time of the injury.
Tagovailoa’s last image in an Alabama uniform may be this: his face bleeding, his body curled up on the cart that carried him off the field after an injury left him in excruciating pain.
That was the exact scene during the game as the star quarterback went down with an injury.
A towel over his head muffled the screams from a dislocated hip, which is keeping him out of any physical action for at least three months.
Tagovailoa’s career started with one of the most remarkable college football moments in history.
Two years ago, he came off the bench at halftime in his freshman year during the national championship game and led Alabama to a thrilling comeback win over Georgia with an audacious walk-off touchdown pass.
According to Alabama team doctor, Lyle Cain, “Tua underwent successful surgery on his right hip Monday morning in Houston. The procedure went as planned, and he is resting comfortably. Tua’s prognosis is excellent, and we expect him to make a full recovery.”
Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture. It is an injury most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle accidents.
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said, “I feel bad. I’m hurting, aight [SIC]. So, I call him on Saturday night to cheer him up, and he cheers me up. I called him Sunday night to cheer him up, and he cheers me up.
“The first thing he says to me last night when I tell him, ‘Good luck with your surgery tomorrow’, was, ‘I just can’t wait to get back and see the game on Saturday.’”
After the game ended, Saban called the injury a “freak injury,” but long before the coach had started the press conference, the hot takes were flying all over the place.
“Tua should not have been in!” “Saban ruined his career!” “Fire Saban!”
Everyone had something to say.
Was Tua fully recovered from his previous ankle injury? No.
But let’s not forget that he played – and played well – in a loss the week prior to the hip injury.
Did the Crimson Tide need him playing on the field in order to beat Mississippi State, or even tomorrow versus Western Carolina?
No. But players and coaches don’t think that way.
In this case, backup quarterback Mac Jones was warming up. Saban told ESPN at halftime, “That was going to be his last series,” but the Tide wanted Tagovailoa to get some work in the hurry-up, two-minute offense situation.
Does Saban probably blame himself for the injury? The answer is he most likely does, but that does not mean it’s true.
It’s football. The injury could have occurred at any time.
Tua’s hip injury not only ended his season with Alabama, but could also completely ruin his 2020 NFL Draft plans.
“Tank for Tua” has been the narrative around the NFL.
This all changed after the injury.
The injury could have such a great impact that the 21-year-old may rethink his decision to enter the 2020 Draft.
Tony Pauline, NFL draft analyst for ProFootballNetwork.com, said, “He’s gotta go back to school. The Bo Jackson, the Neil Lomax, the Marvin Jones-type injury where the ball is out of the socket – that’s a significantly damaging injury where he probably shouldn’t even enter the draft.”
Due to the severity of the injury, and what we’ve seen from players with this type of injury before, puts the Tua Tagovailoa football future rather hazy.