As the extent of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa’s injury is digested and reports of his surgery and rehab are top of mind, another factor to consider eventually is what his spring and next season will look like.

That includes they key decision about the junior entering the NFL Draft or returning to Tuscaloosa. The subject was covered by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports in a story where he quoted former NFL executive Mike Lombardi.

Thamel wrote, is it worth 20 spots in the draft to be able to prove to NFL teams that his hip is healthy enough for him to run, change direction and throw in the same way that he did before the injury? If so, that would be a swing of tens of millions of dollars and would have to be considered an option.

“I think that’s the smarter play,” Lombardi said of Tagovailoa either sitting or returning to Alabama.

Thamel also pointed out that Tagovailoa’s injury insurance policy details are unknown.

“While Alabama can’t comment on individual insurance because of privacy laws, there is a system in place at the school where high-level draft prospects receive insurance coverage through the athletic department’s student-assistance fund,” Thamel wrote.

Among the other unknowns is if Tagovailoa will be healthy enough to return for the NFL Scouting Combine in the spring. Otherwise, scouts would work off of incomplete information.

“He’s not a big man,” Lombardi said of the 6-foot-1, 218-pound quarterback. “Little men get hurt. Let’s be honest, here.”

Lombardi doesn’t subscribe to the sitting out for a prolonged period theory.

“I don’t think so,” Lombardi said about players potentially sitting out seasons. “The one thing about football, you’ve got to play.”