Tua Tagovailoa Has No 'Further Issues' with Injury After Alabama's Loss vs. LSU

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2019

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) warms up before an NCAA football game against LSU, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa , Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt))
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not further injure his ankle in Saturday's 46-41 loss against LSU.

Head coach Nick Saban addressed the injury during his press conference Monday, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports.com:

"He's a little sore, as to be expected. We did all the medical research that you could do on him to find out if he did any damage or hurt himself in any way, shape or form, and he did not. So, we'll manage the soreness, may give him a day off today and sort of start him back tomorrow a little bit. So, we'll just have to manage it day-to-day, and he should respond each and every week.

"But the situation that he's in is very much expected, and he doesn't have any further issues."

The ankle did not appear to be bothering him Saturday, when he threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns. Despite those gaudy numbers, however, it wasn't his sharpest performance, as he threw a costly interception and lost a fumble in the first half. 

He also didn't deal with pressure well.

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But Saban believed that any rust from missing time with his ankle injury had more of an impact on his game than the ankle itself. 

"I think he was 100 percent," Saban said Saturday. "I think obviously missing some time, missing some practice—I think that he played well, he made good plays in the game. I thought his mobility was probably not 100 percent, but I thought he had short-area quickness in the pocket. Maybe he couldn't run 100 percent, maybe he was 90 percent. I don't really know."

He added: "I think he was a warrior in terms of what he did. And I think probably missing the practice that he missed over the last couple weeks, he may not have been quite as sharp as normal. But I thought he did a good job in the game, and I'm proud of the way he competed in the game."

With Joe Burrow (393 passing yards, three touchdowns, one turnover) outplaying Tagovailoa, however, he moved ahead of the Alabama quarterback in the Heisman race.

A lot can change between now and December, of course, both for Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide. Burrow could have a clunker or two. LSU could lose, or the other teams ahead of the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Rankings could lose. Alabama could very easily find itself in yet another Playoff, even as a one-loss team that likely won't play in the SEC title game. 

So Saturday's loss wasn't a season-killer by any means. That, along with Tagovailoa not further injuring his ankle, are the silver linings from an otherwise disappointing showing from Alabama. 

But this Alabama defense seems more vulnerable than past iterations. LSU put up 46 points, 559 yards from scrimmage and 34:34 in time of possession. They went 8-of-15 on third downs and punted just four times. There is reason for concern in Tuscaloosa. 

At least for the Crimson Tide, the concern isn't the health of their star quarterback.

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