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UA quarterback Tua Tagovailoa among three injury updates from Nick Saban

Nelson Chenault - USA TODAY Sports

With the exception of Trevon Diggs (broken foot), the University of Alabama will have two players fully healthy for its homecoming matchup with Missouri this weekend. 

During the Crimson Tide’s game against Arkansas, sophomore Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hit to his knee and was noticeably limping. He has sported a brace on his knee throughout practice and according to Nick Saban, Tagovailoa has a sprained knee but is expected to play on Saturday. 

“He has taken every rep in practice,” Saban said Wednesday on Tagovailoa. “We put a brace on him to protect him, but he’s been able to do all the work in practice. That is not an issue.” 

On the heels of his second 300-yard passing performance, the Hawaiian intends on further stretching his lead in the Heisman race. Tagovailoa will battle a senior in Drew Lock of Missouri, who is projected as a first-round pick for next year’s NFL Draft.  

Alabama’s offensive line was missing a massive presence all week, as Lester Cotton has been dealing with a mild ankle sprain. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound senior is expected to return Thursday for practice and participate in walk throughs with the team on Friday. Saban said the team is “hopeful” to get Cotton back for the last two days of game prep. 

As for Diggs, it looks like he will miss the remainder of the season. 

“It’s going to be an extended period of time,” Saban said in answering a question on whether there was a timetable for Diggs’ return. “What he has is going to take a while to heal and I’ll be surprised if he comes back by the end of the season.” 

Like Tagovailoa, Diggs was seen limping a lot in the second half against the Razorbacks.  

With him out, Alabama turns to Saivion Smith as its primary left cornerback. Freshman Josh Jobe and sophomore Nigel Knott will get some looks as well, but Smith is the guy for now.

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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