• Donald V. Watkins

What's Ahead for Tua Tagovailoa?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

By: Claire Larson, Guest Contributor

©Copyrighted and Published on November 17, 2019


Saturday’s win came at a great cost. One of the best young men the Crimson Tide has brought into the program suffered a potentially career-ending injury. Hopefully, team orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lyle Cain, is correct and Tua Tagovailoa is able to make a full recovery. He epitomizes what is good about college football. He is a brilliant athlete as well as a wonderful, humble young student. No doubt this injury is both physically and mentally devastating to the young man who, as a child, would sleep with a football under his arm.


The injury suffered by Tua was a posterior right hip dislocation. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The head of the femur, the upper leg bone, is a ball that fits into a socket of the pelvis. This injury forced the ball of the femur out of the socket and behind the joint. The danger with this type of injury is damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the joint. The longer the hip remains dislocated, the higher the risk of damage. Damaged blood vessels can lead to reduced blood flow to the femoral head which can cause death of the bone (necrosis). Damage to the sciatic nerve can cause debilitating pain. Thankfully, it appears the team doctors immediately reduced the dislocation as soon as Tua was in the locker room which would potentially mitigate these issues.


Several reports also indicated Tua suffered a posterior wall fracture. Hopefully, that is not the case as this could complicate recovery and cause long term issues such as osteoarthritis.


One has to wonder whether this was preventable. Several questions might come to mind: When you’re up by four touchdowns, is it necessary to practice a 2-minute offense using a quarterback who is playing injured? Does continually running up the score cause fans to leave at half-time – a pet peeve of Coach Saban? (Did President Trump put a jinx on the team? Just kidding…..kind of…😉 ).


The injury also has potential NFL draft implications for the young man some projected to go as the top pick.


Whether we love or we hate the Crimson Tide, I know every one of us wishes Tua all the best in his recovery process and future career.


PHOTO: Tua Tagovailoa being carted off the field just prior to halftime of the Mississippi State game.

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© 2020 by Donald V. Watkins, P.C.