Tua Tagovailoa will be ready to join his new Miami Dolphins team-mates when practice begins in two weeks after passing his physical.
The former Alabama quarterback was selected fifth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, sliding down the board somewhat after dislocating his hip against Mississippi State in November.
Tagovailoa underwent successful surgery following that injury and has been building towards a return to fitness ahead of the new season.
And Dolphins coach Brian Flores confirmed on Wednesday that the 22-year-old was not on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
“He’s not on PUP,” Flores told reporters. “There’s an acclimation period here for the next two weeks. There’s strength and conditioning and some walkthroughs.
“There will be [strenuous activity] from a strength and conditioning standpoint, but from a football, practice, drills standpoint, there won’t be much.
“But he’s through the physical. And when we do get to practice, you’ll see him out there.”
Thank you to @MiamiDolphins for making this dream come true for me and my family. It’s in my heart to give back to the communities that have raised me. Plans are underway to start charitable outreach efforts in Hawaii, Alabama and Miami. Stay tuned, stay safe. Go fins! Blessed! https://t.co/KGyvGr6xNX
— Tua. T (@Tua) May 12, 2020
But Flores moved swiftly to calm excitement around Tagovailoa, suggesting new measures amid the coronavirus pandemic will make this season tricky for any player, let alone a rookie.
“People want to talk about Tua. I understand it,” Flores said. “At the same time, he’s a young player, this is his first NFL training camp.
“I think he’s got to take it one day at a time and not think about what’s realistic for the season. I think we just need to take a one-day-at-a-time approach.
“That would be my message to him – but it’s not just him, it’s really every player on this team. This is a different year, a different type of training camp.
“No-one’s gone through a training camp like this, where a lot of meetings are virtual and there was no spring, there are no preseason games. No-one’s done this.
“So, instead of looking into the future, I’d rather just take the one-day-at-a-time approach. That’s the message I’m going to give to the team, as well.”
Tagovailoa signed a four-year contract with Miami in May and will receive $30.275million guaranteed. The deal contains a signing bonus of nearly $19.6m and contains a fifth-year option for 2024.