DALLAS — When University of Alabama players returned to the Capstone from its three-day break for Christmas in the middle of its preparations for the Rose Bowl with Notre Dame, coaches and fans alike probably held their collective breath, waiting the results of COVID-19 testing.
As with every day of this season, Crimson Tide athletes and staff members are tested daily for the virus and Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed who he expects to be making the trip to Arlington on Thursday morning.
"We haven't had any problems at this point," Saban said. "I always knock on wood when I say that. So everybody that we expected to be on the trip will be on the trip."
Saban and his staff have gone above and beyond detailing the importance of socially distancing and wearing masks with the players' families ahead of them going to their respective home.
"I didn't have the heart to tell them they couldn't go home for Christmas," Saban told ESPN on the CFP selection show.
He further eluded to the fact that nothing has changed with the status of defensive end LaBryan Ray, who has dealt with an elbow sprain the majority of the season, and wide out Jaylen Waddle, who has been out with an ankle injury since the opening kickoff against Tennessee back in October.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m (CT) against the Fighting Irish inside AT&T Stadium on ESPN. If, for any reason, the game needed to be postponed due to COVID-19 issues, it would be moved to Jan. 11 according to ESPN.
"There hasn't been any changes with those two guys," Saban said. "We always have some guys that are a little nicked up that we make a decision in pre-game warmups if they will be ready to go or not but we are hopeful that all of those guys will be fine."