Tagovailoa hurts thumb in first spring practice

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By JOHN ZENOR

The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s quarterback competition could be on hold, at least briefly.

The defending national champion Crimson Tide opened spring practice Tuesday with an intriguing battle between two-year starter Jalen Hurts, who’s 26-2 in that role, and title game hero Tua Tagovailoa. It won’t hit full steam until Tagovailoa recovers from a thumb injury on his throwing hand that he sustained in the first practice.

Coach Nick Saban said the Saint Louis School graduate would be evaluated in Birmingham to determine the nature of the injury.

“I think in a few days Tua will probably be able to do some things, but when you hurt your thumb on your throwing hand, it’s kind of hard to grip the ball, so I think that’s going to be the issue,” he said.

Saban is already trying to place a firm grip on any notion that there’s a quarterback controversy brewing while praising the attitudes of both players.

“Both those guys have been great,” he said. “I know that every time I stand up here, y’all (reporters) are going to try to make something out of it that it isn’t. It’s two good players that both can contribute to our team and we’re going to give them both an opportunity to do that.”