Alabama football: Tua Tagovailoa injures thumb in first practice of spring

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer , SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Tua Tagovailoa injures thumb

Alabama’s quarterback battle will come to a grinding halt. Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts will have to wait to settle things. Tagovailoa injured his thumb during the first practice of the spring. Before the injury, Alabama coach Nick Saban said the two players were sharing reps. Saban added that Tagovailoa will get his thumb evaluated Wednesday in Birmingham.

“It’s probably going require some time for him to get back,” Saban said. “I don’t want to speculate on what the injury might be. Most of the time when these type things happen, it takes a little while for them to come back.”

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In other headlines…

Butch Jones officially joins staff

After weeks of speculation, Alabama officially added former Tennessee coach Butch Jones to the staff. Saban called Jones “an intern,” but then added that he is also an analyst and can not coach on the field. Jones brings multiple years of experience both as a head coach and an offensive assistant to the staff.

Keith Holcombe to focus on baseball

Alabama outfielder and linebacker Keith Holcombe will not participate in spring practice to focus on baseball. Holcombe is second on the baseball team in batting average. He would be entering his fifth season with the football team. Saban said he gave Holcombe his blessing and the two will discuss Holcombe’s future moving forward after the spring.

DeVonta Smith works with defensive backs

Alabama began spring football on Tuesday and a familiar face was not with his usual position group. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the national championship, was seen working with the defensive backs instead of the wideouts. Saban provided an updated as to why Smith was not with his usual group and said it isn’t a part of the plan to play Smith at corner.

“He works individual with the corners,” Saban said. “Then he plays receiver the rest of the practice.”

Gardner Minshew flips commitment

Former Eastern Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew flipped from Alabama to Washington State. The graduate transfer signal caller committed to Alabama last month, but ultimately decided to opt for more playing time with the Cougars. According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, he told the Alabama coaching staff on Tuesday. He also tweeted out the news.

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