With a career-threatening injury behind him, a year of NFL experience under his belt, an uninterrupted offseason and now some new weapons, Miami Delphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is ready to silence those who questioned him after a mixed rookie season.
“Beard and some perch.” These were not so exhaustive conclusions from the Dolphins leaving Austin Jackson to catch when asked if he noticed any difference at Tua Tagovailoa defender this offseason.
The contagious smile is suppressed, the jawline is hidden, like a veterinarian who neglects shaving in favor of a 5am session, the villainous hood pulled up like blinders for incessant chatter from the outside. It can be convenient to draw conclusions from team photos; to assume that Tua seems ready to escalate production is not at all the same.
By now, Miami has long rehearsed his self-righteousness in the mirror when it comes to the quarterback, whose rough recovery apparently eluded the minds of many in his rookie year. They’ll be waiting for a round of applause when their spiral artist kicks off the style in September.
Tua’s hip dislocation and back wall fracture in Alabama were not only a traumatic end to the season, but also a football anomaly, an injury most often associated with severe car accidents. One that might well justify a full 12 months of inactivity. Let’s summarize.
In November 2019, Alabama leads Mississippi 35-7, and against the third and fourth from 3:10 to the end of the second quarter.
Tagovailoa scrambles to the left before being strangled by two knights, causing him to fall awkwardly to his knee and the weight of the defenders topple him, forcing the thigh to fly out of the back of the hip joint, causing the ball of the thigh bone to collide with the joint. leave a small chip on the back wall.
The team’s doctors quickly moved the hip, fearing rupture of blood vessels or stretching for such a long period that the blood supply to the bone would be cut off. As with Bo Jackson, who suffered from avascular necrosis following a dislocated hip and fracture with the Raiders in 1991. If that sounds strange, it’s because it was. If it sounds excruciating, it is because it was.
And yet some sighed, snorted, and waved their hands in frustration when things didn’t go well for the fifth overall pick in season one. In some gloomy corridors of social networks, proposals lurked that the Dolphins should trade him. Hmm?
Going a rookie quarterback to the NFL is a physically tedious, head-spinning process; there is a reason Patrick Mahomes’ mastery was limited to a one-year internship in Kansas City. Now imagine the mental and physical rehabilitation after a career-threatening trauma, learning a new offense through the joy of “you were silent!” Wi-Fi-dependent virtual meetings amid a shortened off-season with no COVID-related pre-season.