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Tua Tagovailoa holds virtual pro day, will send footage to NFL teams

Tua Tagovailoa held a virtual pro day to prove to NFL teams that he is healthy before the April 23 draft. (John Bazemore/AP)

With rumors swirling about the health of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and NFL teams unable to see him work out for themselves, Tagovailoa held a virtual pro day at an undisclosed location in Nashville on Thursday afternoon.

Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who has been training Tagovailoa in Nashville since mid-January, decided to organize the virtual pro day because a personal pro day Tagovailoa had scheduled for Thursday was canceled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Dilfer, who ran the session, had it videotaped and plans on sending the raw footage to all 32 NFL teams, making the workout appear as much like a real pro day as possible.

The workout lasted an hour with 55 scripted throws and another 20 in what Dilfer described as a “dynamic setting.”

Tagovailoa, who has long been considered one of the draft’s top two quarterbacks, is viewed as something of a mystery because he has spent most of the past four months recovering from a dislocated hip suffered Nov. 16 in a game at Mississippi State. Doctors cleared Tagovailoa to run and begin football activities March 9, and Dilfer repeatedly has said Tagovailoa is healthy.

“Tua’s 100 percent. He can play in a game tomorrow and be completely safe,” Dilfer said in a recent interview.

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Dilfer described Thursday’s session as a “themed pro day” and built the workout to show four elements of Tagovailoa’s game: twitch, movement, power and precision.

“We want to show him in a live, raw environment,” Dilfer said.

Because many parks and fields are closed because of social distancing restrictions, Dilfer held the pro day in a private gym, preventing Tagovailoa from showcasing some of the deeper throws he probably would have made at a regular pro day. Tagovailoa’s representatives said there were fewer than 10 people present to abide by local social distancing requirements.

Reports in recent days suggest teams are increasingly wary of picking Tagovailoa because he has been cleared only recently and travel restrictions keep them from examining him on their own. Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi said on the Daily Shuffle podcast that Tagovailoa had failed a physical with at least one team. Tagovailoa underwent multiple days of physical exams at February’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

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