Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a thumb injury during Alabama’s first practice of spring and the injury will limit the sophomore-to-be’s availability this spring, UA coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday night.
Tagovailoa delivered for the Crimson Tide in the second half the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, completing a stirring comeback for the Crimson Tide.
The injury occurred during Alabama’s approximately two-hour spring practice inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. Saban said Tagovailoa was taken to Birmingham for evaluation.
“It’s probably going to require some time for him to get back,” Saban said. “I don’t want to speculate on what the injury might be. Most of the time when these type of things happen, it takes a little while for them to come back.”
Of course, Tagovailoa is competing with two-year starting quarterback Jalen Hurts for the starting job.
“I think in a few days, Tua will probably be able to do some things,” Saban said. “But when you hurt your thumb on your throwing hand, it’s kind of hard to grip the ball, so I think that’s going to be the issue is whether he’s able to throw it.
The quarterbacks were taking turns at quarterback during the first practice, Saban said.
“We’re giving both guys an opportunity and we’ll see what they compete and how they do,” Saban said. “We don’t have any decisions. We’re not speculating on any decisions but we’re going to be fair and honest with how we give both players a chance to compete.”
Tagovailoa was not the only injury update released, but he was the only one injured in practice. The others players’ injuries were known by the staff prior to spring practice.
Right tackle Matt Womack decided to get a nagging foot injury repaired after re-injuring it during spring break.
“Matt Womack had a foot, same thing that three other guys had last year. Sort of a Jones Fracture-type thing. It got repaired,” Saban said. “It was bothering him all during the offseason. He actually injured it further walking up and down the steps over spring break, so he’s going to be out.”
Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings will miss the spring. He suffered a knee injury during the Sugal Bowl victory over Clemson, and Saban and the medical staff are in no hurry to rush him back.
“His rehab is going extremely well, but we’re taking it easy with this injury,” Saban said. “This is not something that I think you want to really mess around with too much. He’ll probably be full-strength by the beginning of the summer.”
Running back Josh Jacobs will miss most of the spring after an offseason ankle surgery.
“He may be able to come back at some point in the spring and do some drills,” Saban said. “To what degree, I don’t know. It depends on how he progresses.”
Keaton Anderson (shoulder) and Kendall Randolph (achilles) will also miss the spring.
In non-injury news, Saban did confirm the hiring of former Tennessee coach Butch Jones. Saban said Jones would be an intern/analyst.
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