Tua Tagovailoa won't know just how healthy his hip really is until he feels the first hit.
Thanks to a lack of preseason games, that first hit won't come until Week 1.
"You never know until it actually happens," Tagovailoa said Thursday, via the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley. "You've got to go out and do it to know whether it hurts. ... But everything's going well."
Tagovailoa might have the most scrutinized hip in the history of professional sports, even more so than the hip of Bo Jackson, whose own injury eventually ended his sporting journey. We've spent significant amounts of digital space and plenty of time updating Tagovailoa's status, discussing his future and how the once-injured hip might affect it, and just how ready he could be to suit up for Week 1 of the 2020 season.
After all, while it might feel like a decade ago at this point, its been only nine months since Tagovailoa suffered his significant hip fracture and dislocation. It's not as if he's had all the time in the world to recover and regain strength.
But Tagovailoa is indeed working toward starting in Week 1, and by all accounts, it appears he's on track. He'll have to beat out veteran signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick for the job, but it might not be a competition as much as it is a succession.
The quarterback decided to break the ice Thursday by doing his video conference while wearing Fitzpatrick's practice jersey. Not a bad introduction for the anointed savior of the Dolphins.
The pressure will be immense, but Tagovailoa has gotten a decent introduction to high expectations, seeing as he came from Alabama.
"The best way to handle it is really not pay attention to it," Tagovailoa said. ... "I understand that it's there, but the main focus is getting into my playbook, what we have to do inside of the building."
The spotlight will soon shine brightly on Tagovailoa, who will begin to answer the questions of those looking on by first answering his own with that initial hit.