Dating back to last season Tua Tagovailoa has dealt with a knee injury and two ankle injuries. The knee seemed to either get re-injured at some point or was aggravated late in the season. The injury history of the Alabama football QB is not a secret.
Some draft experts have started to question whether Tua is injury prone which is affecting his draft stock. Last season, it seemed like Tua was forced back into action earlier than he should have been and that led to the ankle injuries against Georgia. Part of the reason Tua may have been pressed into service was the fact that then backup, Jalen Hurts, was dealing with his own ankle injury.
Nick Saban and the Alabama football staff need to strongly consider the possibility of keeping Tua on the sideline until the Tide takes the field against Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Rushing someone back from surgery, even a minor surgery such as this, can have catastrophic unintended consequences.
If Jalen Hurts were still wearing crimson, I don’t think there would be any question that Tua would rest until Mississippi State or longer. With all due respect to Mac Jones and Taulia Tagovailoa, there is not another QB on the roster in 2019 that has the confidence of Nick Saban, the fans, and the locker room.
Looking at this another way, the only reason Tua, the coaches, and the fans are hoping for a short recovery is so that Tua can play against LSU. Everyone knows that if Tua doesn’t play against LSU, then Alabama’s chances to win go down dramatically. Every other regular-season game, including Auburn, is winnable with Mac, Taulia, Slade Bolden, or some combination of all three.
I contend that if Alabama football loses to LSU then they still have a great chance at making the College Football Playoff. Out of the 20 teams to make the Playoff, 14 teams made it with one loss. Only once has there been more than one team make the playoff with no losses.
The Playoff Selection Committee has many different criteria used to measure team success in order to select the four best teams. One of the criteria they are allowed to consider is a team’s injuries. If Alabama loses to LSU without Tua at QB, then the selection committee can take Tua’s injury into consideration when making selections.
On the other hand, rushing Tua back from ankle surgery to play against LSU could be dangerous for him. He would most likely not be at 100%. There is no guarantee even if he were at 100 percent Alabama football would win. A loss to LSU without Tua looks better on a resume than a loss to LSU with him, regardless of his percentage health-wise.
Not only that, but a win without Tua looks better on a resume than a win without him. It is clear that Alabama football is better with him under center.
Keeping Tua out for LSU to give him longer to rest serves multiple purposes. Not only would it not dramatically affect Alabama’s resume if they hold him out, but it gives chances to Mac, Taulia, and Slade to get meaningful snaps and gain valuable experience going into next season when they will be competing with Paul Tyson and Bryce Young to be Tua’s replacement.