Smith threw a punch during an altercation with a Texas A&M player during the team's last game and was ejected.
Saban explained that the player will "be disciplined," per Potter.
"You can't make emotional decisions on the field," the coach said Monday. "... You have to have enough discipline to walk away."
The coach also evaluated the situation after last Saturday's win over Texas A&M.
"Basically, he got hit—punched and he retaliated," the coach explained, per Michael Casagrande of AL.com. "... Obviously their player shouldn't have punched him but [Smith] should have had the discipline not to hit him back because that's a foul."
Playing without Smith could be significant because the receiver has been one of the hottest players in college football over the past couple of weeks.
The junior had seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown before leaving last week's game, which followed up on his 11-catch, 274-yard, five-touchdown breakout against Ole Miss.
He's currently 10th in the nation with 636 receiving yards while tied for third with nine touchdown receptions.
Alabama has plenty of depth at the position with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle capable of picking up the slack with Smith unavailable in the first half against 2-4 Tennessee.