The obvious concern was that Tagovailoa may have avascular necrosis (AVN), which is when the bone tissue due to a lack of blood flow and happens to be what ended Bo Jackson’s career.
According to Rapoport, Tagovailoa’s surgeon, Dr. Chip Routt, told the family that Tua is “more likely to get mauled by a bear than get AVN.”
Instead, the expectation is that Tagovailoa will make a full recovery.
As for his future, Rapoport says Tagovailoa has not made any decisions about whether to return to school or enter the 2020 NFL draft. However, should he forgo his final year of eligibility, five high-ranking executives tell Rapoport that Tagovailoa is still expected to be taken in the first half of round one.
Rapoport writes that the best-case scenario for Tua could be to go late in the first round to a team with a veteran quarterback already in place. Otherwise, there could be a situation where teams consider trading up to 10-12 overall to get him.
Rapoport says Tagovailoa may not be the top-three pick he was slated to be before the injury, but the expectation right now is that he wouldn’t have a dramatic fall because of the injury.
As far as his recovery and rehab are concerned, Rapoport explains that the first six weeks should feature extremely limited activity with the goal being to simply ensure the fracture heals like any other break.
He’ll then work on range of motion and weight-bearing activities and after six weeks of rehab, if he’s feeling good and progressing, he can move on to football activities in three months.
Sources tell Rapoport that Tagovailoa’s goal is to be throwing from the early-to-mid-spring and see how his body responds. According to Rapoport, there’s at least a chance Tagovailoa could throw for teams before the draft if he declares and it makes sense for him.
Down the road, Rapoport says there is a 25 percent chance he has arthritis later in life, but there’s no concern about that right now.
Tagovailoa is one of the top quarterback prospects in the country and had been in the discussion to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft before the injury.
For his career, Tagovailoa has completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the course of three seasons and 32 games. He has also rushed for 340 yards and nine touchdowns.
We’ll have more regarding Tagovailoa as the news is available.