Alabama's quarterback controversy is settled... for a few days. Tua Tagovailoa will be out for a bit after injuring his thumb.
It is unclear what the injury is, specifically, and head coach Nick Saban did not divulge much about it. From ESPN:
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa hurt his thumb in practice and will be taken to Birmingham to be evaluated. "Probably going to require some time for him to get back. I'm not going to speculate on what the injury might be," Nick Saban said.
It's hard to imagine a thumb injury lasting beyond spring practice. Still, this hasn't been a great day for Alabama's quarterback depth concerns.
Earlier in the day, ECU transfer Gardner Minshew decommitted from the Crimson Tide. He will play out the rest of his career at Washington State.
Alabama was bringing in Minshew as insurance for the possibility that the loser of the Tagovailoa/Jalen Hurts quarterback battle will transfer. Instead, he will look to start for the Cougars.
While Tua Tagovailoa seems to be the favorite to win the job given his national championship performance, Nick Saban won't commit to it.
“The most important thing is to play the best guy, and if both guys can play winning football, it’s not out of the question that we’ll find a role for both guys in fairness to both guys,” Saban told ESPN on Friday. “I don’t know that there’s any more to it than that.”
Tagovailoa definitely gave Alabama a different dimension against Georgia in the 2017 title game, in which Hurts was mostly ineffective. However, it's hard to judge everything on one half.
Alabama has only lost two games that Hurts has started: the national championship game last year to Clemson, and this year's Iron Bowl. Nick Saban isn't going to be quick to just cast him off, and today's Minshew and Tagovailoa news shows why.