Tua Tagovailoa may be full-go for Alabama’s playoff game, but a trio of his teammates won’t be.
Monday night, Alabama confirmed that three players — offensive lineman Deonte Brown, offensive lineman Elliott Baker, tight end Kedrick James — have been suspended for the Dec. 29 College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The only reason given was unspecified violations of team rules and policies.
The most notable name of the group is Brown, who has started five of the last six games at left guard for the Crimson Tide. With Brown out, Lester Cotton, who lost the job to Brown midseason, is expected to take over once again against the Sooners.
James, listed as the Tide’s third-string tight end, has played in 10 games the past two seasons, with five of those appearances coming this year and five coming in 2017. He has yet to catch a pass at the collegiate level.
Baker has yet to play a down for the Tide, although he has earned his degree from the university.
There’s no definitive word yet on any of the suspended players’ statuses moving forward should Alabama find its way past Oklahoma and advance to the national championship game next month.
Nick Saban is not the only high-profile head coach dealing with personnel issues ahead of this year’s playoff. Earlier today, Dabo Swinney confirmed that three of his players, including All-American defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, are facing suspensions for the playoff game against Notre Dame because of failed drug tests.