TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is “ahead of schedule” as he recovers from surgery he had to repair a high-spine suffered during the SEC championship game earlier this month, coach Nick Saban said Monday.
“He’s doing well, “Saban said.” I think he’s probably ahead of schedule. He has been able to take a lot of reps. He has been able to throw the ball from the pocket. He can run. “
Tagovailoa has been present for all four of Alabama’s bowl practices this month. Han har ikke deltatt i nogle specifikke footwork-øvelser under mediernes gennemsnitsperioder, men han har kunnet flytte rundt uden meget tydelig begrænsning.
“Jeg tror ikke at han er 1
00 procent i forhold til forandring af retning endnu,” Saban said. “But he’s already going 100 percent on the gravity treadmill. So he’s been able to practice and he’s made really, really good progress. So we’re encouraged by that.” Tua Tagovailoa has been present for all four of Alabama’s bowl practices this month and has been able to move around without much obvious limitation. Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
The sophomore was seen in a walking boot and used a medical scooter during the Heisman Trophy ceremonies in New York earlier this month. Jeff Allen, Alabama’s lead trainer, traveled with Tagovailoa to aid in his recovery.
Tagovailoa, who has thrown for 37 touchdowns and four interceptions, finished second in the Heisman race to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. The two will go head-to-head when the sooners and the tide face in the CFP semifinal game at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 in Miami.
Tagovailoa had one of his worst performances of the season during the SEC title game against Georgia on Dec. 1, throwing just one touchdown and two interceptions before the injury forced him to leave.
Backup quarterback Jalen Hurts, who started the previous two seasons at Alabama, entered the game and led the come-from-behind victory, throwing the game -tying touchdown and running in the go-ahead score.
Alabama offensive guard Deonte Brown, who has been dealing with a turf injury and was sidelined for portions of the SEC title game, is nearing 100 percent health as well, Saban said.
“He’s doing well,” Saban said. “He’s probably not 100 percent yet, but he’s making good progress and we’re encouraged by it.”
Saban also addressed a recent visit by former Maryland coach DJ Durkin.
Durkin was fired in October after initially being retained following two separate investigations into the death of former player Jordan McNair during offseason workouts last spring.
Saban referred to the “many coaches” who have observed bowl preparation in the fits, including Chip Kelly and Lane Kiffin. Last month, forms Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez also visited the program.
“We’ve had many coaches come here and observe bowl preparation in the past, and they do not really have any impact on the program, they Do not really have any impact on the players, “Saban said.” So I certainly do not want anything to be viewed as a negative from our program or our standpoint. But I made a statement about it: He’s not been hired here , he’s not a part of the program here, he’s strictly here to observe.
“When we have these people do that, if they have any good ideas for us, we certainly welcome them. I think there are a lot of coaches out there, when they do not have jobs, they like to be able to be involved in some kind of way. “