Alabama Football: How a limited NFL preseason hurts Tua Tagovailoa

Alabama football would love to see a full preseason for Tua Tagovailoa.

Tua Tagovailoa’s NFL Draft stock was in limbo heading into April, but declaring as a junior ended up being the right decision. Despite his injury concerns, Tua landed with the Miami Dolphins early in the first round.

Most rookies don’t start in the first week of the NFL season. This is especially true for quarterbacks. Instead, they show off their potential in the preseason and spend the first few weeks learning the system. Once the staff believes the time is right, they will make the switch.

Tua is in this boat. His injury history puts a preseason into question, but he certainly won’t start in Week 1. In fact, many believe that Tua shouldn’t start for multiple weeks. If the Dolphins believe he is healthy enough, they will roll him out during the preseason.

The bad news is that the NFL just announced that they are cutting the preseason by two games. This really cuts into the time that backups have to prepare for the NFL season. With time limited, will the Dolphins even roll Tua out there for significant snaps?

What should Alabama football fans be hoping for?

Miami can approach a limited preseason in many ways. They can let their veterans rest, or they could use the time to get them prepared for the regular season. If Miami rolls out the veterans for the majority of the preseason, Tua Tagovailoa won’t be seen much. That might be the best thing for him in terms of health, but Tua needs to show what he can do in a game.

Tua thrives on glimpses. Just go back and watch his freshman highlights with Alabama football. From the A-Day game to his Vanderbilt performance, he did the best with limited amount of time. He saw the field, left everyone in awe, and kept them wanting more. If he gets these glimpses in the preseason, Miami Dolphins fans will be begging to start him as soon as possible.

Because of this, the worst-case scenario for a healthy Tua is to get no reps in the preseason. With limited games, this result becomes more likely. However, I believe that Miami will still try to show off their rookie sensation to an extent. Tua might just not get an entire game to prove himself like he would have if the entire preseason remained intact.

This is just a minor hurdle for Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama football fans will see him overcome it like he did every other hurdle in his college career. It’s unfortunate, but Tua will still be an NFL star when it’s all said and done.