Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa expects to be at 100% for Orange Bowl

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Tua Tagovailoa after suffering an injury

MIAMI, Fla. – While one Oklahoma receiver hopes to be ready to take the field on Saturday, an Alabama superstar is also recovering from an injury.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama’s star quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist, suffered a high ankle sprain during Alabama’s SEC Championship game against Georgia.

Following the injury, Tagovailoa underwent surgery to give himself a better chance at playing in the Orange Bowl.

“It was done so that I would be able to come back and get the opportunity to play in the playoff. I think our doctors have done a tremendous job, and our athletic training staff has done a tremendous job of helping me rehab and getting to
this point,” Tagovailoa said.

During Thursday’s press conference, Tagovailoa said he felt like he was about 80 to 85 percent recovered from the surgery.

“I mean, we’re still making progress. Feels great. You know, we’re still doing rehab at the moment. You know, hopefully leading up to the game it’ll feel a lot better,” he said.

“Tua has had a good week this week. He’s done things in practice that make you feel as though he doesn’t have lingering issues. He’s been able to move around in the pocket. He’s been able to throw the ball in the run. Last week when we were practicing back in Tuscaloosa, there were signs that maybe he wasn’t a hundred percent, but it seems like this week he’s getting closer and closer to that,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Even though Alabama has a strong back up quarterback in Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa has been essential for the Crimson Tide.

“He’ll never be down. He always stays level-headed, and just he knows how to handle situations like that,” said Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver.

This season, Tagovailoa has passed for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns with just four interceptions.

“Incredible arm, incredible poise in the pocket, great overall player. I really respect his game, look forward to getting out there and getting after him on Saturday,” sad Kenneth Murray, OU linebacker.

Even though it hasn’t even been a month since his injury, Tagovailoa says he thinks he’ll be back to normal by the Orange Bowl.

“Well, the expectation is that I’d be at 100 percent for Saturday and I’d be able to play,” he said.

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