Nick Saban ‘can’t really predict’ if Tua Tagovailoa will be healthy enough to play against LSU

The Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 2) and LSU Tigers (No. 1) are set to clash on Nov. 9, but Nick Saban won’t say whether Tua Tagovailoa will play.

The star quarterback suffered an ankle injury against Tennessee a couple weeks ago and underwent a minor procedure afterward. Speaking about whether Tagovailoa could play in the upcoming huge SEC clash, Saban made it very clear to reporters that it’s still very much up in the air.

“We’ll just have to see what he can do,” Saban said, per AL.com. “Evaluate his mobility and his performance. I can’t really predict any of that. Just have to let it happen and see how it goes.

“I think Wednesday will probably be the first day he’s back on the field. He’s been on the AlterG now and progressing well on that now, which is usually the protocol for how we bring players back that have lower extremity-type injuries.”

When Tagovailoa injured his ankle, he scared many when video showed him being transported to a hospital in an ambulance. However, he was quickly returned to Denny-Bryant Stadium, and after the game Saban said he expected Tagovailoa to miss “a week or two.”

However, he has since taken a more conservative approach. When pressed after being asked initially, Saban bristled a bit.

“I just said we’re not making any predictions. … I’ve got no crystal ball. I don’t know how he’s going to do in Wednesday’s practice. I don’t know how he’ll do after that. Is it fair to say I don’t know? Nobody knows.”

Still, the timeline for Tagovailoa to get back to practice is holding up well, as he’s expected to get back onto the field Wednesday this week. The Crimson Tide don’t have a game on Saturday, as they are on a bye, meaning the quarterback has two weeks to continue rehabbing, get healthy and potentially play against LSU.

Saban says Tagovailoa won’t play unless he can “perform to the best of his ability.”

“We’re not going to put him a situation where he can’t perform, all right? If he can perform, he’ll be able to play. If he can’t perform, then he won’t be able to play.”

So there you have it.

If Tagovailoa is unable to play against LSU, then it’s going to be the Mac Jones show. The sophomore has done pretty well in Tagovailoa’s stead the past game-plus, passing for 472 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

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