ATLANTA — The footwear didn’t exactly match the outfit.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa wore a grey-blue suit to the College Football Awards on Thursday night in Atlanta. He paired it with a yellow tie and a plastic grey boot only on his left foot. The latter piece of attire wasn’t by choice, but neither was the high ankle sprain he sustained in the SEC Championship Game last weekend.
“I feel good,” Tagovailoa said. “Just trying to take it a day at a time, trying to get better. I think our training staff has done a tremendous job with helping me and others in the past get better on a consistent basis and very quick.”
Tagovailoa underwent the necessary surgery. Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams had it before in his career and called it a “stitch job” on Wednesday. Fellow quarterback Jalen Hurts went through it earlier this season, too.
Nick Saban didn’t seem to be worried about his starting signal-caller.
“I think Tua is right on schedule,” the Crimson Tide coach said. “The procedure they did usually takes two weeks for a guy to be able to have any explosive movement, and then they go from there. So we’ll see how he progresses from there. But we’re pleased with the progress he’s made to this point.”
So is Tagovailoa.
The sophomore has been struggling with injuries since early October. Instead of moaning and groaning about the circumstances, he chooses to think positively rather than negatively.
“If it was meant for me to get hurt, it was meant for me to get hurt,” Tagovailoa said. “I don’t know. I don’t know how life works. That’s just how it works sometimes. That’s just how the ball rolls. We’re dealt with adversity at times, and it’s just how you respond.”
And this is how Tagovailoa has responded so far this season: 3,353 passing yards and 37 touchdown tosses on 199 completions. He has been averaging 257.9 yards through the air per game. He has played in all of Alabama’s 13 games.
The Crimson Tide’s next game is the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29, a little more than three weeks away. The question is whether or not Tagovailoa will be ready in time to play.
“Against Oklahoma?” Tagovailoa said. “Oh yeah, I like my chances.”
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