by Alex Poletti
Photo by Getty Images
Tua Tagovailoa’s NFL career is already off to a rocky start. After getting drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the fifth overall pick, the Alabama quarterback broke his hip trying to accept a zoom call invitation from his future team.
“I was sitting down, I leaned over to join the call and then I heard a snap,” the 2018 Heisman runner-up says. “I knew it was bad from the moment it happened.”
Tagovailoa dislocated his right hip in a game against Mississippi State in November, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. Without the star scrambler leading the offense, the Crimson Tide failed to reach the college football playoffs for the first time in history.
“I knew I should have been more careful with my form when clicking with the mouse on my computer,” Tagovailoa says. “I was excited and as a result I acted foolishly. That was my mistake, and now it will cost my team what could have been, with my help, a 6-10 season.”
Tagovailoa has been viewed as a high risk, high reward prospect ever since his injury, and the lack of a pro day this year has only added to the paranoia. No one has seen a healthy Tua since November, which led to some hesitation from NFL teams, including the Dolphins.
“We didn’t know what we were getting from Tua,” Chris Grier, the team’s general manager says. “But in all honesty we’re glad that he broke his hip in a freak accident, because now we have an excuse to suck for the next few years.”
Even before the hip dislocation, Tagovailoa garnered a reputation as being an injury-prone player. He previously had surgery on both of his ankles and twice suffered a broken wrist.
“The way I see it, I got lucky just breaking the hip,” Tagovailoa says. “If I had tried to stand up and walk over to my computer, say, we could be looking at a serious ankle fracture or maybe a freak heart attack. I’m counting my blessings right now.”
For years, Tagovailoa was touted as the best NFL prospect ever. Before the college season started, he was seen as a lock for the first overall pick, leading to many “Tanking for Tua” narratives across the NFL. However, his injury and the meteoric rise of Joe Burrow changed the landscape of this year’s first round.
“We are happy to announce that we are shifting our draft strategy from this point forward,” Grier tells The Second String. “We are moving from Tanking for Tua to Tanking with Tua.”