Nick Saban is going to keep LSU guessing for a while about Tua Tagovailoa.
Saban said Wednesday on the SEC coaches teleconference that Tagovailoa would be a “game-time decision” to start against the Tigers on Nov. 9. Tagovailoa suffered a high ankle sprain against Tennessee and missed Alabama’s win over Arkansas on Oct. 26. Both LSU and Alabama are off on Nov. 2, though Saban also noted that Tagovailoa would start practicing on Wednesday.
Nick Saban confirms on weekly SEC teleconference that QB Tua Tagovailoa will return to the practice field today and will be a 'game-time decision based on how he progresses' for the LSU game.
— Chuck Dunlap (@SEC_Chuck) October 30, 2019
Mac Jones started in Tagovailoa’s place against Arkansas and was 18-of-22 passing for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother, also saw action in the second half.
Tua Tagovailoa had a surgical procedure on his ankle the day after the Tennessee game and Alabama immediately ruled him out for the Arkansas game. But Saban said in the team statement that Alabama expected a “full and speedy recovery,” leaving open the door that he would play against LSU.
Jones would likely start if Tagovailoa can’t go against the Tigers. But is anyone really doubting that he won’t be able to play? Tagovailoa has been confident ever since he suffered the injury that he’d be back for the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup and Alabama’s chance of a win — and a College Football Playoff spot — are much better with him in the lineup. While Tagovailoa’s long-term health is obviously of extreme importance, you can bet that he’ll be starting against the Tigers if his ankle isn’t at an increased risk.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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