Nick Saban: Tua Tagovailoa No Worse for Playing Against LSU

Christopher Walsh

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — According to University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa didn’t suffer any setbacks after playing against LSU on Saturday.

Even though the quarterback was obviously limited 20 days after having surgery to repair a high-ankle sprain, there was no additional structural damage afterward.

“He’s a little sore, as to be expected,” Nick Saban said. “We did all the medical research that you could do on him to find out if he did any damage or hurt himself in any way, shape or form, and he did not. So we’ll manage the soreness.

“We may give him a day off today and sort of start him back tomorrow a little bit. We’ll just have to manage it day to day and he should respond each and every week. The situation that he’s in is very much expected, and he doesn’t have any further issues.”

Tagovailoa passed for 418 yards and four touchdowns, but also had a pair of turnovers.

When asked what it meant to him to see his quarterback play through the pain , junior wide receiver DeVonta Smith said: “Just how much it means to him to go out there, knowing that you're not 100 percent, and giving everything you got, fighting the pain and fighting through the adversity that we had."

Alabama will visit Mississippi State on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN).

Tagovailoa suffered the injury against Tennessee on Oct. 19. 

Meanwhile, there’s still no timetable for the return of junior defensive lineman LaBryan Ray, coming off foot surgery. The initial prognosis was he’d be out at least six weeks, which was this past week.

“He still hasn’t been cleared medically to even start practicing yet,” Ray said. “He is in a rehab mode to see when he can get maybe in a condition to come back and be able to play.

“We’re waiting on the medical staff for him to say it’s OK for him to do that.”

Ray has played in three games this season, and been credited with nine tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

Finally, if it looked like you saw Dylan Moses (knee) in uniform on Saturday, he was.

“Being from Baton Rouge, he came and asked if he could dress for the game and wanted to be a part of the team for that game,” Saban said. “We have no intentions of playing him, nor is that any indication that he’s ready to come back and start practicing or playing. That’s not the case. It was just something that he wanted to do to be a part of the team.”

Said sophomore Patrick Surtain II: "It was big for him. It just shows how much he cares."