The most-awaited new patient visit in the NFL took place Monday in Davie, Florida.
Tua Tagovailoa, whose health status was a dominant topic from November to late April, has finally gotten in front of Dolphins team doctors and trainers. The quarterback made the move from Alabama to South Florida and began working at the team's facility Monday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Miami's doctors and trainers had last been able to meet with Tagovailoa way back in February at the NFL Scouting Combine. The four-month difference might not seem like it was that long ago on a calendar, but to anyone who has experienced this one-of-a-kind NFL offseason due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like it has been an eternity since then.
It has also been a significant amount of time for Tagovailoa to make strides in his rehabilitation from hip surgery. Tagovailoa's physical therapist, Kevin Wilk, told the Sun Sentinel earlier this week the quarterback was "doing miraculously well" in his hip rehab, setting him up for what should be a seamless transition to working with the Dolphins' staff after recent relative loosening of restrictions allowed for the quarterback to do so.
"He's a little bit ahead as far as where we would like him," Wilk said. "We're constantly trying to slow him down just a little bit because an athlete like that is just chomping at the bit just begging to get back out there. He wants to do more and more so we have to hold him back. And really, that was from the beginning. He always wanted to do more."
Miami will finally be able to get an in-person understanding of where Tagovailoa is in his rehabilitation, the first step in devising a roadmap for his return to on-field activities as he works toward taking over as the team's starter in 2020. The fifth-overall pick will have the next two and a half months to get comfortable with his new system, new teammates and healed hip in a brand new environment.