Tua Tagovailoa injury update: the rising sophomore is out for the rest of spring ball. About a month ago, Tagovailoa suffered a "freak" finger injury during practice. Last week, he aggravated the injury, causing what Nick Saban called a setback. It seemed unlikely that he would be ready for the Crimson Tide's "A-Day" spring game, and Nick Saban has confirmed as much.
Tagovailoa's father revealed that his son broke a bone in his left hand. The quarterback had surgery to fix it, and he returned to practice a few weeks later. The spring was set to be very important, as Tagovailoa is battling for the starting job with Jalen Hurts. The injury all but guarantees that the battle will last through the summer, and possibly into the season.
If it wasn't clear that Tagovailoa was out for the rest of the spring before, Saban made it so today. Expect Hurts to get most of the first team reps on Saturday.
The latest Tua Tagovailoa injury update, via AL.com:
"I've already said what his status is," Saban said. "I said he was out the other day. He reinjured his hand and we were going to hold him out the rest of the spring. So that hasn't changed."
It is unclear exactly what this setback is. This is all that Saban would share earlier in the week. Via Saturday Down South:
“Tua had a little setback yesterday with his hand,” Saban said. “The doctors are trying to evaluate the best course of action and what we do with him the remainder of the spring and with that said, I can’t really tell you any more about… He didn’t do, he didn’t take any snaps today, he did take a lot of snaps yesterday so we are going to try and protect this and make sure this thing is not going to be an issue in the fall.”
Hurts took over as starter in the second game of his freshman year, beating out Blake Barnett midway through the 2016 season opener against USC. He has gone on to start every game since, losing a grand total of two games.
Tagovailoa subbed in for an ineffective Hurts in the national championship back in January, and ignited the Alabama offense with his arm. While Hurts has the experience, Tagovailoa was generally considered the favorite to win the job.
This Tua Tagovailoa injury doesn't seem like something that will linger into the season. However, it makes it hard to name a starter, which may be just fine for Nick Saban. Doing so in spring could have led to a transfer, which in turn would have left a hole in Alabama's quarterback depth chart.