WATCH: Saban says there’s ‘a good chance’ Tagovailoa returns at QB vs. LSU

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The first round of College Football Playoff rankings don’t like Alabama and LSU as the top two teams in the country, but the Tide (8-0) and Tigers (8-0) do top both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.

The status of Bama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the topic of conversation heading into the matchup between the unbeaten SEC teams. Head coach Nick Saban gave insight into the junior’s health Wednesday, explaining to ESPN that there is a likelihood that Tagovailoa returns to the field less than three weeks after undergoing “tightrope surgery,” on his right ankle back on Oct. 20.

Saban said “there is a good chance,” that the 2017 National Championship MVP takes the field when Ed Orgeron’s team visits from Baton Rouge.

“If you watched (Tuesday’s) practice film, you would have a hard time even recognizing that the guy is hurt,” Saban told ESPN. “But we’re not asking him to do everything he would in a game. He’s not scrambling for a first down. He’s not getting chased by a defensive end or any of that stuff, so it’s a little bit controlled. We’ll continue to monitor him and see how he progresses, but we’re pleased with where he is.”

Tagovailoa has passed for 2,166 yards and thrown 27 touchdowns this season, with only two interceptions. Saban cautions that he will make a true game-time decision regarding the quarterback’s playing status Saturday, saying of his mobility, “I’m not going to play the guy if he can’t move.”

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Backup Mac Jones relieved Tagovailoa after the injury in the first half of the Tide’s game versus Tennessee and started versus Arkansas before Alabama entered its bye week this week.

In those two games as the primary quarterback, Jones completed 24 of 33 pass attempts for 307 yards. Jones has appeared in seven games total this season. Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother, also played in the 48-7 win versus Arkansas (2-7, 0-6 SEC).

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