NFL

Former BYU, NFL Tight End Dennis Pitta Says He’d Draft Tua Tagovailoa Despite Hip Injury

Apr 15, 2020, 12:20 PM | Updated: 12:20 pm
Dennis Pitta - Tua Tagovailoa...
Dennis Pitta & Tua Tagovailoa (Courtesy of Getty Images)
(Courtesy of Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former BYU and NFL tight end Dennis Pitta said that he’d still draft Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa despite a 2019 hip injury suffered by former Crimson Tide signal-caller.

Among most NFL experts, Tagovailoa is projected to be a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Pitta, who suffered multiple hip injuries during his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, added his support for drafting Tagovailoa during an appearance on the RapSheet and Friends Podcast.

“He’s going to have a long time to recover and rehab and make sure everything feels good and he doesn’t rush back into playing football again and putting that hip at risk,” Pitta said. “If he’s the top quarterback on my board, I’m going to take him high and (the hip is) really the only potential issue I see for him.”

“It’s a unique injury and one that doesn’t quite frankly happen to a lot of football players or athletes in general,” Pitta continued.

The former BYU great had his pro career cut short due to his own hip injuries. Pitta recovered from two major hip dislocations and fractures to play the entire 2016 season. Another injury during the 2017 offseason forced the Ravens tight end to hang up his cleats.

“I am, I guess, a resident expert in hip anatomy now for whatever reason. I’ve gone through it three times,” Pitta said. “I’ve seen doctors all across the country. Some of the best hip doctors that we have. I’ve talked to a number of people. I know way more about the hip than I ever wanted to know but as I’ve tried to recover from three hip injuries and surgeries and all of that, it’s obviously been useful information for me.”

Although both players suffered similar hip injuries while playing football, Tagovailoa didn’t fracture his femoral head like Pitta.

Pitta thinks the fracture resulted in the weakening of his bone, despite being told that his blood tests showed no concerns.

“I think my case is hurting Tua a little bit because people are looking at me and saying, ‘Well, listen, he was never the same. He kept reinjuring it and we’re nervous that could happen to Tua,'” said Pitta. “I feel bad that’s kind of working against him right now, but that’s just the reality of the situation. It’s tough to say exactly how his hip will respond.”

The former Super Bowl champ said that he hopes Tagovailoa bounces back from the injury and is still worthy of a high draft pick in his mind.

“He’s a great kid, he’s got no concerns or red flags anywhere in his character,” Pitta said “He’s obviously an incredibly productive player and a great talent. So I wish the best for him.”

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