Heading into their week off, there aren’t many glaring issues that the Alabama Crimson Tide have facing them. This bye week is a chance for the team to regroup, assess their weaknesses and, most importantly, to rest and get healthy. That starts, first and foremost, with their quarterbacks.
With Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa still nursing a knee sprain, backup quarterback Jalen Hurts has been a welcome asset for Nick Saban through the first half of the season. After Alabama’s 58-21 win over Tennessee on Saturday however, Hurts underwent surgery after suffering a high-ankle sprain during his 21-yard touchdown run, which surprised everybody, including Saban and the Alabama coaching staff.
“One thing that I want to announce that we didn’t even know about after the game is that Jalen actually twisted his ankle when he scored the touchdown. He stayed in the game, nobody really knew anything about it, so it was a bit of a high-ankle sprain, and they did a minor procedure to try to help the healing. I think he’ll be out for one week, probably this week, this bye week, and probably be ready to start working again next week.” — Nick Saban
Saban added that it would be a medical decision when Hurts will be cleared, but that players nursing “similar injuries” have returned fairly quickly from them.
On Monday afternoon, Hurts shared a photo to his Instagram, saying, “God continues to test me, but I won?t fold. Head up and chest out at all times. God has his hands on me and I know he will give me guidance and love.! I?ll be back.”
Spelling Tagovailoa in the second half of games, Hurts has really been sensational completing 73.6-percent of his passes and accounting for six total touchdowns. He’s been commended for sticking by the program, but his role in Tuscaloosa is even more valuable as insurance going forward.
After Alabama’s win over the Volunteers, starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said that he still feels discomfort in his bothered knee, adding that he “doesn’t feel it every play,” but only when he does certain things.
With the health of Tagovailoa’s knee still in question, having the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year in the Tide coaching staff’s back pocket is a huge safety net heading into their massive showdown with the LSU Tigers on November 3 that brings huge College Football Playoff implications.
If Hurts cannot recover fully from the minor surgery before the trip to Death Valley, it’ll be redshirt freshman Mac Jones moving into the role as backup should Tagovailoa be forced out of the lineup at any time.