Top NFL draft prospect (and star quarterback at Alabama) Tua Tagovailoa is out for the season with a dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture, according Alabama beat writer Aaron Suttles of The Athletic. Tagovailoa was carted off the field earlier today in the Crimson Tide’s game against Mississippi State.
After the Tide completed their 38-7 victory, head coach Nick Saban confirmed that Tagovailoa was being taken to Birmingham for CAT scans and MRIs to AL.com’s Mike Rodak. The reports suggest those scans revealed the news many feared. A dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture is considered one of the most painful and damaging injuries.
Tagovailoa’s draft stock no longer contains the flash that it did at its peak in the middle of last year. His health and sporadic play in last season’s College Football Playoff raised some questions, while LSU’s Joe Burrow has emerged as a legitimate rival with Tagovailoa for the best quarterback available in next year’s draft class. However, Tagovailoa remained a consensus top-five prospect and still had plenty of season to reassert himself as the best prospect.
Now, Tagovailoa’s injury could put his entire football career in jeopardy. Dr. David J. Chao (also known as Pro Football Doc) details the potential ramifications for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dr. Chao clarifies that the injury is not identical to Bo Jackson‘s career-ending injury, but is a comparison that is sure to be made. In his previous experience as a former NFL team doctor, Chao recalls one experience with this injury. The player returned in eight weeks, but retired at the end of the season.
This injury injects new levels of uncertainty into Tagovailoa’s future. Not only is he looking at a prolonged rehab, but there now may be questions as to whether he should return to school for his senior season in an attempt to rebuild his draft stock. Granted, this injury could also allow him to fall to a more advantageous long term NFL situation. A lot remains unknown, but one thing is clear: Alabama will be without their starting quarterback for the rest of this season.