Buffalo Bills

Nate’s Notebook: How Does Tua’s Injury Affect the Bills?

Tua Tagovaiola’s unfortunate and serious hip injury sent shockwaves through college football and the NFL this past weekend.

The Crimson Tide were in the middle of another easy victory against an overmatched opponent when Tua rolled out to his left under heavy pressure and got rid of the ball just as he was hit by two Mississippi State defenders.

Tagovailoa gets driven to the ground rather awkwardly as his right knee hits the ground just before his upper body gets slams down on top of it. The result was a dislocated hip and fracture of the bone around the hip joint. Dislocated hips are not a common injury in football and predicting how a player will come back from it is difficult.

Another former Crimson Tide player, CJ Mosley of the Jets, dislocated his hip in his final college game and has had a productive NFL career. Bo Jackson had his all-time great career cut short by his devastating hip injury in 1991. Tua’s injury is probably somewhere in between. It was more serious than Mosley, who didn’t suffer the fracture. It wasn’t as bad as Jackson, who also had ruptured blood vessels in his hip. Medical advances have also come a long way in the 28 years since Bo’s infamous injury.

Does This Affect Buffalo?

A little bit. Before the injury, Tagovailoa was the runaway favorite to be the #1 pick in the 2020 draft. He’s put up video game numbers in Tuscaloosa and combines a lightning-quick release with pinpoint accuracy. Teams like the Bengals were notably “Tanking for Tua.” He was considered by many to be the gem of the 2020 draft class.

The Bills seem well on their way to a winning record and a draft pick likely in the early 20s. Buffalo will more than likely be in search of a pass rusher or a #1 receiver. Generally speaking, if you’re set at QB, it’s advantageous to have as many quarterback-needy teams in front of you as possible. With Josh Allen looking like the franchise quarterback in Buffalo, the Bills would like to see several quarterbacks taken before they select. With Tua more than likely dropping to the end of the first round or even out of the first altogether, it appears one more elite non-QB talent will be off the board when Buffalo picks.

Unintended Consequences

The worst-case scenario here is that Tua drops below the Bills pick, possibly costing the Bills a chance at their top target. Then at the end of the first round, Bill Belichick gets a call from Nick Saban, convincing him that Tua will be fine and is the best quarterback he’s ever seen. On the advice of his friend, Belichick sends his notecard to the Roger Goodell, who walks to the podium and officially announces Tua Tagovailoa as the newest member of the New England Patriots. The Patriots, as they always seem to do, get a generational talent to replace Tom Brady and the dynasty continues.

There’s a long way to go before the 2020 NFL draft, and this situation is sure to take several more twists and turns before it’s all said and done. For now, let’s just wish Tua a speedy and healthy recovery from a pretty devastating injury.

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