Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa suffers broken bone in index finger in first spring practice

UPDATE (Friday, March 23): Tua Tagovailoa's fatherGalu Tagovailoa, told KHON2 in Honolulu that the rising sophomore quarterback broke a bone in his index finger in his throwing hand in what was called a "freak accident." According to the report from sports director Rob DeMello, the hero from the College Football Playoff National Championship win over Georgia in January was immediately taken to the hospital and underwent successful surgery.

Tagovailoa was seen on Thursday taking snaps, but not throwing.

ORIGINAL STORY (Tuesday, March 20): One practice into the spring session at Alabama and the quarterback battle between Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa has already taken a wild turn. 

Coach Nick Saban announced in his press conference following the first practice of the spring that Tagovailoa suffered a thumb injury in his throwing hand, leaving him out of full practices indefinitely.

This leaves Hurts as the primary No. 1 quarterback for the defending national champions for now. Tagovailoa replaced Hurts midway through the College Football Playoff National Championship in January, leading the Crimson Tide out of a 13-0 hole by tossing three touchdown passes including the game-winner in overtime to DeVonta Smith.

In an interesting note, no other quarterback on the Crimson Tide roster as attempted a college pass. Redshirt freshman Mac Jones is expected to get the primary No. 2 snaps behind Hurts until Tagovailoa comes back.

The injury comes at an interesting time in Tuscaloosa. The loser of the quarterback battle between Hurts and Tagovailoa could look elsewhere once a decision is made. On top of that, former East Carolina starting Gardner Minshew -- a one-time Alabama commit -- announced on Tuesday that he is heading to Washington State as a grad transfer instead of joining the Crimson Tide.

Alabama opens the 2018 season in Orlando against Louisville in the Camping World Kickoff on Sept. 1.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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