Report: Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa Expected to Play vs. LSU After Ankle Surgery

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2019

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) rolls out against Mississippi during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to play Saturday when the second-ranked Crimson Tide host the top-ranked LSU Tigers, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com. He had ankle surgery on Oct. 20.

Head coach Nick Saban said Monday that Tagovailoa—who missed a 48-7 victory over Arkansas on Oct. 26—would be a "game-time decision."

Saban said of Tagovailoa's status on Monday:

Alabama Crimson Tide | BamaInsider.com @bamainsider

Nick Saban gave the latest update on Tua Tagovailoa's recent practice participation and status heading into this week's prep and Saturday's game vs. No. 1 LSU... 📺 Watch more from Saban's comments: https://t.co/KWLE93HVPs https://t.co/lAPrg3SQl3

"If he can play in the game, it'll be a game-time decision. ...We'll see where he's at today and then we'll manage the reps accordingly. When I say that, we cannot predict. If he goes out there today and he looks good, then his rep count is going to go up and we'll prepare him as if he's going to have an opportunity to play in the game. If he has a setback during the week, you can't really control that, but that would change the plan."

Tagovailoa was able to take the field for Monday's practice, via Simone Eli of CBS 42:

Simone Eli @SimoneEli_TV

WATCH: Moments ago, #Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa at practice jogging, planting on wrapped right leg, and making throws. Nick Saban said he will be on snap count at practice and game time decision for Saturday. #RollTide #LSU @CBS_42 https://t.co/OnVinJcff3

According to ESPN's Alex Scarborough, the Crimson Tide coaching and medical staffs have been "pleased" with Tagovailoa's progress in his rehab from a high-ankle sprain.

Tagovailoa was in the midst of another outstanding season prior to his injury. The junior has completed 74.7 percent of his passes for 2,166 yards and 27 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions in seven games. He has added two rushing touchdowns as well.

Tagovailoa is 21-1 as Alabama's starting quarterback and also has a national championship on his resume.

In his first career start, sophomore Mac Jones (18/22, 235 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions) threw the ball well against Arkansas. However, the 8-0 Tigers, led by Heisman Trophy favorite Joe Burrow, figure to be a much more formidable opponent than the 2-7 Razorbacks.

Alabama has had LSU's number in recent years, winning eight straight meetings. But with a College Football Playoff spot potentially on the line, Saban and Co. would like to enter Saturday's showdown with their star quarterback under center.