Timeline of Alabama football coach Nick Saban's week since testing positive for COVID-19

Erik Hall
Tide Sports

This week has been unlike any other for Alabama football head coach Nick Saban

It wasn't enough that this week his No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are scheduled to face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs — a game that brought ESPN's "College GameDay" to Tuscaloosa. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday and air on CBS. 

Amidst a big week, Saban tested positive for COVID-19. 

Here is a look at Saban's unique week. 

Nick Saban with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi when he learns of positive coronavirus test

Sep 29, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; ESPN sideline reporter Tom Rinaldi walks on the field prior to the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Ohio State defeated Penn State 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban was in a meeting with ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi around 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday when he learned he had tested positive for COVID-19 from his daily test. 

"I was socially distanced, I was 12 feet away from him," Rinaldi said to WVTM-TV. "I was masked. Nick Saban was masked."

Jeff Allen, the associate athletics director for sports medicine, is who broke the news to Saban. He came and took Saban out of his meeting with Rinaldi. 

"A few minutes later, the door opened, and coach Saban didn't come back in the room," Rinaldi said. "He simply apologized and said, 'It was good to see one another' and had to go."

Nick Saban informs Alabama football team of positive test, has Steve Sarkisian oversee

Oct 3, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian walks around Bryant-Denny Stadium before the game with Texas A&M. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

"I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home," Saban said in a statement that was released a few hours after he told the team. 

Sarkisian joined the Alabama coaching staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in January 2019. 

Steve Sarkisian:5 things to know about Alabama football offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Alabama informs media Nick Saban, Greg Byrne test positive

Alabama put out a statement at 4:49 p.m. Wednesday letting the media and public know Saban and Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne had both tested positive for COVID-19. 

"Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive," Byrne said in the statement. "Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We've been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you."

Saban said in the statement, "I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis."

Alabama football:Nick Saban, Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19

Kristen Saban Setas provides update on her dad

At 5:36 p.m. Wednesday, Nick Saban's daughter, Kristen Saban Setas, let the world know how her dad was doing. 

"No symptoms," Saban Setas said in a tweet. "He's literally coaching practice from a Zoom call (I had permission to say this)"

At 7:56 p.m. Wednesday, she provided another update on Twitter. 

"Thank you to everyone who has reached out with kind words, well wishes and encouragement," she said. "My dad is feeling fine right now and he's a trooper. I have faith he will overcome this quickly. Thanks again." 

UGA, Alabama football:Betting odds swing to Georgia football after Alabama's Nick Saban positive for COVID-19

Nick Saban holds press conference 

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nick Saban held a press conference via video. He said he was "surprised" by the positive test. 

He revealed that he participated in that day's practice by having a manager relay requests for any plays he wanted to be repeated. 

"I didn't see anything different about practice," Saban said. "I got to see a lot more because when you look at it wide-angle you see a lot more than when you're just standing on the field, but I thought the intensity was good, the focus was good, the players were trying to get it right. So I didn't really see anything any different.

"I can tell you, we've had a lot worse practices when I'm there, so maybe it was a good thing that I wasn't there."

Press conference:Nick Saban coaching Alabama football remotely after testing positive for COVID-19

Alabama provides Thursday update on Nick Saban

10/10/20 MFB Alabama vs Ole Miss
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban 
Photo by Kent Gidley

Around 3 p.m. Thursday, Alabama provided an update on Nick Saban that he remained asymptomatic

"Coach Saban was evaluated by our team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson today," Allen said in the statement. "Coach remains asymptomatic at this point and is doing fine. He is continuing to self-isolate and will remain in the SEC testing protocol while being evaluated daily."

Nick Saban:Alabama football updates Nick Saban's condition one day after COVID-19 positive test

Nick Saban does weekly radio show

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Nick Saban did a remote appearance on his weekly radio show "Hey coach with Nick Saban" on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. Saban said he was "feeling great." 

"I still don’t have any symptoms," Saban said. "I don’t have a fever. The oxygen tests they do didn’t show any problems."

Saban also expressed frustration at being unable to communicate with the team if he's unable to attend Saturday's game. 

"I'm not being critical of anyone here — if you're the head coach, there ought to be a better way to do that." Saban said. And he would "hate to see an assistant coach" criticized for making a crucial call that did not succeed.

Nick Saban:Alabama football coach Nick Saban says he's 'feeling great,' would 'hate' to miss Georgia game

Nick Saban tests negative for COVID-19

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, right, talks with Daniel Wright as he walks off the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Alabama put out a statement that Nick Saban tested negative on Thursday for coronavirus. 

"Coach Saban was evaluated again today by Dr. Robinson," Allen said. "He continues to be asymptomatic and without fever. We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives. A PCR test was repeated Thursday by the SEC appointed lab and was negative. For clarification, the initial positive result came from an outside lab we’ve used to supplement the SEC mandated testing. He will continue to remain in isolation and receive daily PCR tests. Should he have three negative PCR tests through the SEC appointed lab, each 24 hours apart, the initial test would be considered a false positive pursuant to SEC protocols and he would be allowed to return."

Nick Saban tests negative Friday, Saturday, will coach

10/10/20 MFB Alabama vs Ole Miss
Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban 
Photo by Kent Gidley

ESPN first reported Saturday at 8 a.m. CT that Saban had tested negative on Friday. 

Then around 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Alabama put out a statement that Saban tested negative for COVID-19 for a third time. The third negative test would allow him to coach against the Georgia Bulldogs. 

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik