Alabama’s Bryce Young a playing time decision against Texas A&M, says Nick Saban

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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama coach Nick Saban said there was no structural damage to quarterback Bryce Young’s right shoulder and he threw some in practice Wednesday. , but Saban said a final decision on Young’s playing status for Saturday’s game against Texas A&M may not come. until the pre-match warm-ups.

“Bryce practiced, and all week he said he could play,” Saban told ESPN on Thursday. “But it’s going to be a medical decision. We still have time, and I want to talk to Bryce more. Only he knows how he feels because it’s going to be a matter of pain tolerance.

“He’s a tough kid and a great competitor. We’ll see where he is on game day.”

Saban said the Alabama medical staff’s plan was for Young not to throw on Thursday and instead rest his shoulder.

“There was no reason for him to throw a lot this week, because if he does, it’s not going to get better. It’s just going to make him worse,” Saban said. “Our doctors say if you hold back as much as you can, then that’s the best chance he has.”

Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, exited last week’s 49-26 win over Arkansas in the second quarter after racing to the sideline and landing awkwardly on his shoulder when tackled. Young returned to the field for the next series. But after throwing an incompletion on third down, he could be seen grimacing as he walked off the pitch with his right arm by his side. After a visit to the injured tent on the sidelines, Young was taken to the locker room. He came back on the Alabama sideline in the third quarter with pads, but he didn’t return to the game.

“There’s nothing wrong with his rotator cuff or anything like that, nothing that’s going to hold him back long term,” Saban said. “We hope to get him back this week, but it’s still too early to make that call.”

Redshirt freshman Jalen Milroe finished Arkansas’ game at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. He passed for 65 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown. His 77-yard run to the 3-yard line with 14:30 left set up Jase McClellan’s short touchdown run to give Alabama some breathing room after Arkansas scored 23 points unanswered to reduce the lead to 28-23.

Milroe and Young both took reps in training this week. The difference, according to Saban, is that Young was limited in throwing the ball.

“Bryce did everything else, got all the reads, ran the team errands,” Saban said. “We just didn’t allow him to throw it much.”

If Young is unable to play and Milroe steps in as a starter, Saban doesn’t see the team dynamic changing much.

“Obviously Bryce is the leader of the team, and the players respect him, trust him and believe in him,” Saban said. “But I don’t see our players not performing well when [Milroe] is in there. He does enough good things that they believe in him and trust him. If he’s in there, I don’t see that as a problem. That we can perform well enough is what matters because these guys [Texas A&M] are better in defence, I think, than anyone we’ve faced so far.”

Young has passed for 1,202 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions this season. He also has three rushing touchdowns. Young is 18-2 as the starting quarterback for Alabama. One of the games he lost was to Texas A&M last season when the Aggies won 41-38 at College Station.

Saban said he did not tell the players about the spat between him and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, who was furious after Saban said during a speech in May that Texas A&M ” had bought” the players of their No. 1 ranking in 2022. signing class under cover of NIL rules. Fisher fired back and called Saban a “narcissistic” and suggested that everyone go “find out how God did his business”, referring to Saban’s recruiting practices.

“This game isn’t about any of that, and our players don’t care,” Saban said. “This game is about the goals we want to achieve as a team and our players create value for themselves. That’s why this game is important, not because of anything that has been said about whoever. that is.”

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