The agent for Tua Tagovailoa believes the former Alabama quarterback will be healthy enough to be able to work out for prospective NFL teams ahead of the draft on April 23.
In an interview with al.com on Tuesday, Tagovailoa’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, said his client would attend the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 25, but would not participate in workouts. Instead, he gave two possibilities for a 40-minute throwing session: Alabama’s pro day in March or a separate pro day sometime before the draft, depending on the quarterback’s health.
Tagovailoa underwent major hip surgery in November, causing him to miss the remainder of his junior season. He declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 6, telling reporters at the time that he was optimistic he would be able to play football again in 2020.
Tagovailoa said of the feedback NFL executives he’s received, “The biggest thing they want to see is that we can move and be back to how we were playing prior to the injury.”
Steinberg told al.com that he expects Tagovailoa to be healthy and able to work out by April.
“This is not unusual,” he said. “Teams are very used to dealing with the fact that players are hurt and they’ll come along. The draft is a projection as to what a player will be over the next 10-12 years. It’s not necessarily a merit badge for great college performance.”
The agent said Tagovailoa will travel with him to Miami next month for the Super Bowl.
“They’ll meet people at the Super Bowl from all areas of football — coaches, general managers, owners,” Steinberg told al.com. “It’s a convention of America.”
Tagovailoa isn’t expected to resume weight-bearing athletic activity until sometime next month.
Despite medical concerns – in addition to hip surgery, Tagovailoa had surgery to repair separate high-ankle sprains in 2018 and 2019 — ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. still has him rated third overall in his most recent Big Board.
The former Heisman Trophy runner-up threw for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions this season, completing 71.4 percent of his passes.
At the time of his draft announcement, Tagovailoa cited a medical re-check that would ultimately tell him more about the health of his hip.
“I don’t think any of the doctors can tell the foreseeable future,” he told reporters on Jan. 6. “None of the guys rehabbing me can tell that. From what they’ve seen in New York, everything looks good. But you can’t really tell until the three-month mark or the four-month mark. That’s the gauge.”