Tua did not just sustain his first injury in his rookie season. He had the hip injury that obviously impacted him, but pre-draft, his injuries were a concern.
Before the 2020 NFL Draft, Albert Breer spoke about Tagovailoa’s injury history and how teams are evaluating him because of it. Breer said (via Michael Wayne Bratton of Saturday Down South), “But really it’s a multitude of injuries that teams are worried about. Those two ankle surgeries that he had in Alabama, those are new surgeries, so there’s really no track record on how those are going to hold up long term. And then you’ve got just the mass amount of injuries.”
Breer added, “If you want to go back and look at history Dan, and people look at these injuries and say, ‘Well, you know, it’s bad luck the kid could overcome it.’ History shows us over the last decade that quarterbacks go in the first round and come into the draft with serious medical history from college, almost all get hurt again. Sam Bradford in 10, Jake locker in 11, Robert Griffin in 12, Marcus Mariota in 15, Carson Wentz in 16, Deshaun Watson in 17, Josh Rosen in 18, all of them had significant injury history in college, all of them got hurt again in the pros. So teams look at that and say, we like Tua as a player, but can we trust that he’s going to be able to stay healthy. I got tell you, that list, Tua’s got more [injury] history than most of those guys too, so I still think the medical is a part of it. He’s not a perfect prospect, but I can tell you this, the Bama coaches have told NFL people, we believe he’s a left-handed Drew Brees. I’ve got enough NFL people agree with that assessment to make me think that he’s very well thought of as a player, really the major problems of medical.”
I think an important part of that quote was when Breer said, “people look at these injuries and say, ‘Well, you know, it’s bad luck the kid could overcome it.’ History shows us over the last decade that quarterbacks go in the first round and come into the draft with serious medical history from college, almost all get hurt again.”
I believe that Tagovailoa has talent, but the fact that he is injury-prone is a major concern. You can blame the offensive line all you want for Sunday’s injury, and trust me, I think it is crazy that Jesse Davis is starting, but that wasn’t a ridiculous hit on Tagovailoa.
Quarterbacks in the NFL take hits like that all the time; some just have the elite ability to peel themselves up off the turf and keep delivering strikes.
Some don’t. Especially injury-prone quarterbacks.
There is not one offensive lineman in the history of the NFL that did not get beat badly on a snap and give up a sack or quarterback hit. They are going to happen, and expecting them not to is nonsense. Tom Brady has been hit hard hundreds of times in his career, but he has that unique ability to get back up and keep dealing. That’s one of the traits that differentiate the good from the great.