Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s future was thrown into uncertainty when he suffered a season-ending hip dislocation against Mississippi State last week. A report Friday tried to offer clarity. According to Pro Football Network NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline, Tagovailoa intends to enter the 2020 draft rather than return to college for his senior year.
Tagovailoa was a Heisman Trophy candidate and almost certainly a first-round draft pick until he was carted off the field in Starkville. He underwent surgery Monday to repair the injury. Pauline reported that Tagovailoa won’t return to Alabama to try to get his draft stock back up.
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If Tagovailoa does slide down the draft board in April, he won’t receive any insurance money to make up for the lost earnings, according to a report from The Action Network’s Darren Rovell.
Alabama’s insurance policy for Tagovailoa covers only “permanent total disability,” which means if Tagovailoa had suffered an injury that would have prevented him from pursuing a professional career entirely, Rovell reported. Because Tagovailoa is expected to recover from the hip injury, the coverage doesn’t apply.
In addition to total disability insurance, some schools insure high-profile players with “loss-of-value” policies, which would apply to Tagovailoa. Additionally, players can pay for loss-of-value insurance themselves, but Tagovailoa had not done so.
“I could not imagine a better partner than The University of Alabama throughout this situation,” Tagovailoa’s father, Galu Tagovailoa, said in a statement to The Action Network. “We had numerous discussions regarding insurance coverage, and we have been very comfortable with how Alabama has worked with our family at every turn.”
Alabama, Rovell reported, hasn’t taken out a loss-of-value policy for any player “in recent memory.”