Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa vows to be back for pivotal game after suffering ankle injury, teammate says

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa vowed he would be back for the team’s rivalry game against LSU in a few weeks after he suffered an ankle injury Saturday against Tennessee, according to a teammate.

He is expected to miss the next game against Arkansas. The Crimson Tide have an open date after the game against the Razorbacks, then they play LSU on Nov. 9 in what could be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.

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“He said, ‘I’ll be back for LSU,’” Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis told The Athletic. “I know how Tua is, it’s something he’s been through before, so I don’t doubt the fact that he’s a competitor. He’s going to get right back. He’ll be fine.”

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) walks off the field hurt against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) walks off the field hurt against Tennessee during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed Sunday that Tagovailoa had a “tightrope” procedure on his right ankle. He said it was the same injury he suffered in the SEC Championship game last year, just on the other ankle.

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“Tua Tagovailoa suffered a high-ankle sprain last night against Tennessee,” Saban said in a statement. “Our physicians performed a successful tight-rope procedure on his right ankle this morning. This is the same injury, but the opposite ankle that Tua injured last season. Tua will miss next week’s game against Arkansas, but we expect a full and speedy recovery.”

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Alabama has Mac Jones as the backup quarterback. He was 6-for-11 with 72 passing yards replacing Tagovailoa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.