If you’re an Alabama fan and holding out hope of catching an on-field glimpse of last season’s freshman sensation this weekend, you may want to recalibrate your expectations.
Over the weekend, Nick Saban revealed that Tua Tagovailoa had suffered what the head coach described as “a little setback” in his recovery from a hand injury. With Saturday’s spring game just a couple of days away, a testy Saban seemingly confirmed that the quarterback will not be a participant.
“I’ve already said what his status is,” Saban said by way of al.com. “I said he was out the other day. He reinjured his hand and we were going to hold him out the rest of the spring. So that hasn’t changed.”
Tagovailoa suffered an injury to his left (throwing) hand during Alabama’s first spring practice session last month, with the quarterback’s father subsequently confirming that his son had undergone surgery to repair a broken index finger that same day. Tagovailoa returned to practice in late March, albeit on a limited basis; he resumed throwing a short time later.
Until Tagovailoa is fully recovered, which now seems unlikely until, at the earliest, the Crimson Tide embarks on their summer workouts, Jalen Hurts will continue to be the de facto starter under center.
The rising true junior Hurts, who has started every game but one the past two seasons, and the rising true sophomore Tagovailoa, the national championship game hero who replaced Hurts at halftime of the overtime win, are entrenched in a competition for the starting job that, barring a post-spring transfer, is expected to extend into summer camp. That said, most observers outside of the UA football program fully expect Tagovailoa, because of his proficiency in the passing game relative to Hurts, to earn the job at some point before the Tide opens the defense of their title against Louisville in Orlando Sept. 1.