Tua on injury-prone label: ‘I’m not playing badminton’


Tua Tagovailoa tried again Friday to refute the notion that he is injury-prone.

The former Alabama quarterback, who is expected to be one of the top picks in this month’s NFL draft, defended his health history Friday night in an Instagram Live chat with Mike Locksley.

Locksley was Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator in 2017 and the Tide’s sole offensive coordinator in 2018 before taking over as Maryland’s head coach last season.

Tagovailoa told Locksley, according to multiple media reports, “I’m not playing badminton. I’m not on the swim team. (Football) is a physical sport. You’re gonna get hurt. That just comes with it. And it was just very unfortunate that I got hurt every season (in college).

“It’s a part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I can only control what I can control. I can’t control that.”

Tagovailoa underwent two surgeries as a junior at Alabama in 2019, one on his right ankle in October and another in November to repair a posterior wall fracture and dislocated hip, which ended his season.

He previously sustained finger, knee and ankle injuries.

Unable to showcase himself to NFL scouts with a pro day due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tagovailoa instead filmed a private workout Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. He also had two surgeons announce that he is fully recovered from his operations and ready for the rigors of the NFL.

Regarding where he might get selected in the April 23-25 draft, Tagovailoa said to Locksley, “I’ll play for whoever takes me. I just want to play, man. It doesn’t matter what organization I go to, man. I just want to play. I look forward to playing under any organization that is willing to take a chance on me.”

Tagovailoa exited Alabama as the school’s all-time leader in completion percentage (69.3 percent), single-season touchdown passes (43 in 2018) and career touchdown passes (87).

—Field Level Media