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Tua Tagovailoa ‘expected’ to practice this week, Nick Saban updates a list of injuries

Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

Even when it’s having a down year, Arkansas gives Alabama a physical game. 

The Crimson Tide finished the matchup with a list of injuries, but per Nick Saban, none of them are too serious or significant. Najee Harris (running back) and DeVonta Smith (wide receiver) both will need rest, but both players are fine. 

RELATED: See what the players had to say after defeating Arkansas

“Najee barely twisted his ankle,” Saban said. “He’s fine. He could have went back in the game, but we just did not put him back in.  Smitty has a bruised shoulder. He’ll probably be out for a few days, but should be fine.” 

Smith was seen on the bench next to Tua Tagovailoa with his shoulder in a sling, while Harris wanted to return to the game. He had his helmet on and stood beside one of the coaches; however, Saban remained with Brian Robinson and Keilan Robinson in the second half. 

As for Evan Neal, Jared Mayden and Ale Kaho, just minor bumps and bruises. 

According to Saban, Neal took a hit to the knee, Mayden has a pulled groin and Kaho fractured his hand. The sophomore at linebacker will still be able to play with it in a cast. 

In terms of the best news, it was saved for Tagovailoa. 

After sustaining an ankle injury versus Tennessee and having tightrope surgery, the junior quarterback is expected to return to practice by midweek of this week.

He was spotted around campus last week without a walking boot on his right foot, but wore it during the game for precautionary reasons.  

“Tua is doing really, really well,” Saban said. “He is on the Ultra G already. He’s running on the Ultra G and we expect him to return to practice by midweek of this week. I don’t know what he will be able to do or how much, but that is the prognosis of where we are right now.” 

Tagovailoa told his teammates he would be back for LSU and he is making true of his promise, clocking ahead of schedule in his recovery. 

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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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