Who knows what would have happened had Tua Tagovailoa hadn’t gotten hurt. Maybe he would have gone No. 1 overall. Maybe not.
But Tagovailoa did injure his hip, which meant that no one had to “Tank for Tua.”
The Dolphins selected the Alabama quarterback fifth overall.
Tagovailoa underwent hip surgery Nov. 18 surgery in Houston. He since has been fully cleared and is ready to compete without restrictions, his surgeon told all NFL teams before the draft.
“Well, we did a lot of work,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores told Mike Tirico on NBC Sports’ Lunch Talk Live. “Our medical staff headed up by Kyle Johnston, our head trainer, you know Dr. [John] Uribe, our entire staff, they did a wonderful job kind of getting us the information on really all the players. We felt comfortable. We got comfortable I would say in the last couple weeks here. Obviously, he is a very talented player, and he has got a lot of the qualities we are looking for the in quarterback position. He is a leader. He is accurate. He is tough, so we felt very comfortable.”
Tagovailoa did not have a Pro Day, but he did hold a virtual pro day in Nashville earlier this month.
Tagovailoa, who did his pre-draft training with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, did a one-hour workout April 9. He had 55 scripted throws and another 20 in a dynamic drill setting at a local gym.
“I mean, it was important,” Flores said. “I remember it came out, Chris [Grier] sent it to me, and we were pretty much watching it at the same time. Got on the phone after that and said you know looked pretty good, so it kind of just reinforced or confirmed some of the things that our doctors had mentioned to us. It was important. It was good to see it. He looked good in the tape, but obviously you know that is nine minutes. That is very different from having a two-hour practice or playing in a game so, but I thought he looks good for where he was and you know where he was, where he was when he initially got the injury and where he was at that point.”
Flores wouldn’t bite when asked the plan for Tagovailoa this season. But since the Dolphins also have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in their quarterbacks room, it seems likely Tagovailoa will get a redshirt year especially since the COVID-19 pandemic likely cancels any on-field offseason work.
“The plan, like all the rookies, these guys have got so much to learn,” Flores said. “It is such a different game. They have got to learn new terminology. They have got to get to know all the other players on the team. They have got to get to know their fellow rookies. What is the name of the equipment guy? You know our trainer’s name? So there is a lot that goes into that first year as a rookie as well as obviously going out there and playing so we try to take it one day at a time. Nothing is going to happen all at once. I don’t think you just jump in there and you are ready to go.”