Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is slated to practice Monday, less than 48 hours after reinjuring his right knee, coach Nick Saban said at a news conference.
Tagovailoa departed Saturday’s game against Missouri and didn’t return after aggravating the sprained knee on a slide in the third quarter.
Saban also expects his star signal caller to play this Saturday when the top-ranked Crimson Tide visit Tennessee.
“He’s going to practice today,” Saban said. “Probably better this week than he was last week, so we’re going to see how he does in practice and continue to evaluate him.
“As long as the medical staff clears him, we’ll keep working him to try to get him ready to play in the game.”
Tagovailoa initially hurt the knee the previous week against Arkansas. After reinjuring it against Missouri, he was in the sideline pop-up tent for more than 15 minutes before emerging.
Tagovailoa passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns before departing. Overall, he has thrown for 1,760 yards and 21 touchdowns against zero interceptions this season.
Junior Jalen Hurts replaced Tagovailoa and the former two-year starter connected on 7 of 8 passes for 115 yards.
The injury news wasn’t as positive for sophomore receiver DeVonta Smith, who injured a hamstring against Missouri.
“From an injury standpoint, Smitty’s probably the guy that’s probably most questionable,” Saban said. “You never know how hamstring injuries are going to respond and how fast guys will be able to recover. But at his position, probably have to be pretty full-speed to be able to play, so we’ll have to play that one day-to-day.”
Junior defensive end Raekwon Davis faces some diminished playing time, according to Saban, for throwing three punches at Missouri guard Kevin Pendleton at the end of a play in which Pendleton was on the turf. Saban said he discussed the situation with SEC commissioner Craig Sankey.
“I visited with (Sankey) about Raekwon’s actions and we will handle that internally,” Saban said. “We will have him do some things. I think it should affect his playing time in the future.”