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Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to miss two weeks with an ankle injury, ESPN reported Sunday (h/t CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd).
Tagovailoa was injured in Saturday’s 35-28 win over the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game.
SI College Football @si_ncaafb
Tua Tagovailoa had his right ankle stepped on by his own lineman. Jalen Hurts warming up https://t.co/ku1fRphRYL
Jalen Hurts filled in at quarterback and led Alabama on its game-tying and go-ahead scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
A two-week recovery timeline would leave Tagovailoa more than enough time to get back for the College Football Playoff semifinals. The first two playoff games are scheduled for Dec. 29.
Alabama finished first in the final playoff rankings, which means a date with the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl.
College Football Playoff @CFBPlayoff
The #CFBPlayoff top 6️⃣:
1️⃣. Alabama // @AlabamaFTBL // #RollTide
2️⃣. Clemson // @ClemsonFB // #AllIn
3️⃣. Notre Dame // @NDFootball // #GoIrish
4️⃣. Oklahoma // @OU_Football // #BoomerSooner
5️⃣. Georgia // @FootballUGA // #GoDawgs
6️⃣. Ohio State // @OhioStateFB // #GoBucks https://t.co/mbzqBXnQl7
The SEC title game might have proved, though, the Tide don’t need Tagovailoa under center to be the best team in college football.
Hurts was 7-of-9 for 82 yards and a touchdown and ran for 28 yards and a score on five carries after replacing Tagovailoa. The junior passer is also a year removed from leading Alabama to last year’s national championship game.
Tagovailoa is the Heisman Trophy front-runner and threw for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns and four interceptions in 13 appearances. Still, Alabama is so deep from top to bottom it could probably advance past the semifinals and repeat as national champion if Tagovailoa’s ankle injury lingers into late December and early January.