Alabama football coach Nick Saban's chances of coaching in Saturday night's game against Georgia are increasing.
According to ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, Saban's second straight COVID-19 test came back negative on Friday. Alabama officials learned of the result on Friday afternoon, and the coach already has been tested again on Saturday morning. Officials hope to receive the results of that test in the afternoon.
If Saban tests negative three times, his positive result on Wednesday would be considered a false-positive under SEC rules, allowing him to coach the Crimson Tide on Saturday night.
Alabama released a statement from head athletic trainer Jeff Allen on Friday saying Saban remains asymptomatic and without a fever.
"We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives," Allen said. "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."
Saban immediately entered into self-isolation at his home after testing positive on Wednesday. He said Thursday night on his radio show that he still has been able to perform all of his normal work duties from his house. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach at USC and Washington, is scheduled to handle the head coaching duties on Saturday if Saban is not cleared to coach.
No. 2 Alabama enters Saturday's primetime matchup with No. 3 Georgia with a 3–0 record, having defeated Missouri, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
Kickoff for Saturday's Alabama-Georgia game is set for 8 p.m. ET.