Tua Tagovailoa believes he's "100%" recovered from a hip injury, but concerns about the former Alabama quarterback's health have emerged with the 2020 NFL Draft on the horizon.
Former Cleveland Browns general manager Michael Lombardi said Wednesday that Tagovailoa failed his physical with two teams and had previously unknown wrist injuries revealed.
"What they saw ... it's not just his hip. It's his ankle. It's his wrist," Lombardi said on his podcast, "The GM Shuffle." "He broke his wrist the first day of spring ball one year. And then they fixed it and he came back, and he rebroke it again. He's brittle. He is brittle. You can't deny it."
Tagovailoa's agent, Leigh Steinberg, dismissed the fresh concerns about his client's health Thursday, calling them "overblown."
"You can just bet on the fact that no team is telling press people exactly what they're going to do," Steinberg said during an appearance on 790 The Ticket's "Tobin and Leroy" show. "The reality is, if two teams say that Tua flunked their physical, then who are those two teams? I doubt very much they would be telling a writer that."
Steinberg added Tagovailoa would have been the No. 1 pick had he not been hurt and should still be considered "a top franchise quarterback."
Two orthopedic surgeons who were involved in Tagovailoa's hip surgery believe he'll be fully healthy in time for training camp, ESPN's Stephania Bell reports.
The Miami Dolphins own the No. 5 overall pick and have been widely considered a potential landing spot for Tagovailoa. While some think the quarterback would even be worth trading up for, others believe the risk associated with using a top-10 pick on him is too great:
Tagovailoa has an extensive injury history. In addition to the dislocated right hip that ended his 2019 season and aforementioned wrist issues, the signal-caller suffered high ankle sprains in 2018 and 2019, with both requiring surgeries.
However, Tagovailo's health outlook has been almost overwhelmingly positive throughout the majority of the draft process.
The QB successfully went through medical checks at the combine in early March, and Tagovailoa's representatives said later in the month that he was "ready to compete without any restrictions."
In two seasons as Alabama's starter, the 22-year-old threw for 6,806 yards, 77 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.
The 2020 NFL Draft, which will be "fully virtual," will take place April 23 to 25.
- With h/t to the Miami Herald