During an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt that aired on SportsCenter on Monday night, Tagovailoa said his knee is “fine” and that he’s doing “much better.”
“I’m fine. I got to go out to practice today. I’m a lot better than I was last week after the Arkansas game,” Tagovailoa said. “I mean, [the injury] looked bad on the field. I just retweaked it kind of. I got some treatment after the game, this morning leading up to practice. We’re a lot better, we’re much better.”
Tagovailoa, a Heisman Trophy front-runner, originally injured the knee two weeks ago during a win over Arkansas. He wore a protective brace against Missouri, but aggravated the knee while sliding at the end of a run during the third quarter. Afterward, he went to the sideline and was attended to by trainers for several minutes. He did not re-enter the game.
“He could have gone back in the game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “… We’ll see how he does in practice and continue to evaluate. 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, a sophomore, has thrown for 1,760 yards, 21 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. He has also run for two scores.
In Tagovailoa’s absence, Jalen Hurts completed 7 of 8 passes for 115 yards. The former starter and SEC Offensive Player of the Year has appeared in every game this season, throwing for 568 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
Another starter, defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, could see his playing time affected against Tennessee, Saban said, after Davis was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after throwing punches at a Missouri player during Saturday’s win.
“I visited with [SEC commissioner Greg 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.”
Alabama travels to Tennessee on Saturday. After an open week, the Crimson Tide will go back on the road to face No. 5 LSU.