Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa Underwent Ankle Surgery; Out vs. Arkansas with Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) walks off the field hurt against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Tua Tagovailoa will miss Alabama's game against Arkansas after suffering a high ankle sprain in Saturday's 35-13 win over Tennessee.  

Head coach Nick Saban announced Tagovailoa underwent a "tight-rope procedure" on his right ankle Sunday morning. The Crimson Tide expect the Heisman Trophy contender to make a "full and speedy recovery."

Tagovailoa's absence means Mac Jones will likely be the starting quarterback against the Razorbacks. Jones went 6-of-11 for 72 yards through the air after entering Saturday's victory.

The final score is somewhat deceiving as Tennessee had a 1st-and-goal at the Alabama 7-yard line when trailing 21-13 in the third quarter. A holding penalty knocked the Vols back 10 yards, and they eventually settled for a field goal.

Tennessee also appeared positioned to possibly make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled at the goal line and Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs returned the ball the length of the field for the game's final score.

Alabama finished with 373 total yards, down from its average of 513.7.

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With Tagovailoa already ruled out, Jones will at least get to practice with the first string this week, thus allowing him to grow more accustomed to his temporary role.

Saban is likely to lean on the running game a bit more regardless. Arkansas is allowing an average of 193.7 yards per game on the ground, so that's an area Alabama can exploit.

The bigger concern is making sure Tagovailoa is ready to go Nov. 9 when the Tide host second-ranked LSU.

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