Based on the public words of Nick Saban, the Tua Tagovailoa mystery will continue a little longer.
Wednesday, Alabama beat Michigan in the Citrus Bowl thanks to a fourth-quarter flurry. Following the game, Saban was, again, asked about the future of the injured quarterback. In response, the head coach put the ball in Tagovailoa’s hands to make a decision — while also making it clear that he and the football program will give the true junior all of the 411 in order for him to make an informed decision.
That’s a decision that I think his family needs to make. And I’m sure when they make that decision, they’ll let everybody know. I think it’s our responsibility and our job to make sure that we give them all the information from an NFL standpoint, from a medical standpoint, from a rehab standpoint. And if there is any way that he could possibly be devalued because of his injury, what are the consequences of that and how does that affect his decision and what he does in the future. But he’s been a great leader for us. He’s a great player on our team. He was elected captain of the team by his teammates. And we just want what’s best for him.
“I think that’s my job with all the players, is to make sure they get the right information from the right people about what their status is so that they can make a business decision about what they do for their future. And that’s what we’re going continue to do and we’re going to continue to do that for Tua and his family.
After hours and hours worth of ofttimes ominous speculation, Alabama announced in mid-November that Tagovailoa had been diagnosed with a dislocated right hip, an injury suffered in the first half of its rout of Mississippi State, and would miss the remainder of the 2019 season. While Tagovailoa was ultimately able to attend what turned out to be Bama’s stunning loss to rival Auburn in late November that knocked the Crimson Tide out of the playoffs, the true junior had not yet publicly discussed how the injury would affect his future plans, or if it even would.
In an early December interview with Kirk Herbstreit, Tagovailoa indicated that he still hadn’t made a decision on his football future.
Regardless of when he makes what he described as a business decision in that interview, Tagovailoa, who also underwent surgery a second time in a year for a high-ankle sprain suffered a month prior to the hip injury, will again lean heavily on his family before taking his next step.
“I still gotta talk with my family about all this, see what their input is. Now is not the time to be making emotional decisions,” Tagovailoa explained in the December interview. “But now you gotta change into thinking as a businessman. You gotta make business decisions.”
For those curious, Tagovailoa did not have an insurance policy to protect against the loss of value should he drop in the draft. He does, though, have an insurance policy, taken out through the university, that would protect him should the hip injury he suffered prematurely and permanently end his playing career.
That, though, is not expected.