Report: Tua Tagovailoa ‘flunked’ physical, ‘brittle’

Andy Hart
April 09, 2020 - 12:00 pm

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is one of the more polarizing prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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The Tide star is recovering from a serious hip injury at a time when teams are limited in the medical information they can collect due to the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down NFL facilities and most of the country.

Still, according to what former NFL GM Michael Lombardi has heard, Tagovailoa has failed physicals for at least two teams in the top 10 picks of the April 23 Draft.

“What they saw, is they saw that it’s more than one…it’s not just his hip,” Lombardi said this week on his GM Shuffle podcast. “It’s his ankle, it’s his wrist. He broke his wrist the first day of spring ball one year. Then they fixed it, he came back and he broke it again. I mean he’s brittle. He is brittle. You can’t deny it.”

Many mock drafts have Tagovailoa slotted as a high first-round pick at this point, maybe even the second quarterback taken after LSU Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, who’s expected to go No. 1 overall to the Bengals. But the health issues with Tagovailoa, in addition to the traditional evaluation of the left-handed passer’s ability, make him a risk for teams like the Dolphins at No. 5, the Chargers at No. 6 and any of the teams expected to consider a potential trade with the Lions for No. 3 overall.

Of course there is always the possibility this time of year that teams lower in the draft hoping for a quarterback to fall could spread misinformation through the media.

While the validity of the idea holding water is very much debatable, there has even been speculation that the Patriots should consider moving up for a shot at Tagovailoa in this post-Tom Brady era in New England.

Lombardi, though, doesn’t make it sound like a very palatable possibility.

“When you are picking a quarterback it’s really hard to pick a good one. It’s even harder with a guy who can’t stay healthy. That’s my point. So, yeah, two teams I’ve talked to have flunked him. They flunked him on not just the hip, on the multitude of injuries. The risk far outweighs the reward,” Lombardi concluded regarding Tagovailoa.

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