Tagovailoa to Miss Time With Ankle Injury

October 20, 2019, 12:29 PM HST (Updated October 20, 2019, 12:29 PM)

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, of Ewa Beach, will miss at least one game following surgery to address a high-ankle sprain he sustained against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Alabama quarterback and Hawai‘i native Tua Tagovailoa. PC: Wikipedia image

Tagovailoa underwent surgery on Sunday morning. Head coach Nick Saban said in a statement the operation was a “successful tight-rope procedure.”

“Tua will miss next week’s game against Arkansas,” Saban continued, “but we expect a full and speedy recovery.”

The prognosis left open the possibility that the Alabama quarterback may remain sidelined for the top-ranked team’s looming matchup against current No. 2 LSU in Tuscaloosa.


During the 2018 campaign, Tagovailoa suffered the same injury as he did on Saturday, only to the opposite ankle. He returned to practice in a limited role 13 days after the procedure.

The last time the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP Poll met in the regular season was Nov. 5, 2011. The two teams playing that day — LSU and Alabama.

History will repeat itself almost eight years to the day, assuming Alabama can survive Arkansas without its starting quarterback on Saturday and LSU can hold off No. 9 Auburn in a showdown set for Tiger Stadium.

Tagovailoa has thrown 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in No. 1 Alabama’s 7-0 campaign through the 2019 season. He also leads the FBS in quarterback rating at 95.6 and is considered among the favorites to win this year’s Heisman Trophy.

Replacing him against Arkansas will be backup Mac Jones, a redshirt sophomore from Florida, who went 6-for-11 with no touchdowns and no interceptions against Tennessee in relief of Tagovailoa.

While most ankle sprains don’t result in surgeries, the procedure is intended to address Tagovailoa’s current injury and protect the joint against future damage.

The so-called “tightrope procedure” helps ligaments heal more naturally and stabilizes the ankle structurally.

Tagovailoa, who is of Samoan-American heritage, was born and raised on the island of O‘ahu. He played high school football for Saint Louis High School in Honolulu.


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