Less than two weeks after garnering encouraging medical reviews at the NFL Scouting Combine, former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has received even more promising news.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Tagovailoa's injured hip looked "very good with no concerns" during a four-month scan.
With Tagovailoa's hip trending toward a full recovery, the coveted signal-caller will continue to generate buzz as an early first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Though LSU's Joe Burrow will almost certainly come off the board before him, Tagovailoa once appeared destined for the No. 1 overall pick himself. He entered the spotlight after coming off the bench in the 2017 national championship game and successfully leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback in the second half. The following year, he went on to become a Heisman Trophy finalist and nearly delivered a second consecutive title for Alabama.
However, Tagovailoa suffered a severe hip dislocation late in 2019, ending his season and effectively the Crimson Tide's title hopes. After a period of deliberation, he decided to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the draft. During Tagovailoa's declaration press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said the quarterback "had as much of an impact on our program here as any player that we've ever had."
Though Tagovailoa remains unable to perform all football activities, the news from his recent scan suggests a return to the field should occur in the not-too-distant future. That development should help alleviate lingering concerns about his health and NFL future. The Los Angeles Chargers hold the No. 6 overall pick and could consider taking Tagovailoa if available.
Tagovailoa finished his college career with 474 completions on 684 attempts (69.3% completion) for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Alabama lost just two games with him as the starting quarterback.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH