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Miami Dolphins' decision to start Tua Tagovailoa broke Ryan Fitzpatrick's heart - ESPN
Ryan Fitzpatrick said that getting benched for Tua Tagovailoa broke his heart.
One day after Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores elevated rookie Tua Tagovailoa to starting quarterback, the recently demoted Ryan Fitzpatrick said the timing of the move "broke my heart," as he wonders whether he has started his last NFL game. "I was shocked by it. It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just kind of digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me," Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. "Flo kind of said what he said and said what he said to you guys as well, and that's the decision and the direction that the organization is going in." "Obviously we've talked in the past, me and you guys, about how I'm the placeholder and this eventually was going to happen," Fitzpatrick added. "It was just a matter of kind of when, not if. It still just ... it broke my heart yesterday. It's a tough thing for me to hear and to now have to deal with, but I'm going to do my best with it." The decision hurt Fitzpatrick even more because he was playing some of the best football of his career -- leading the Dolphins to back-to-back blowout wins. The unquestioned leader of the team had a 79.6 QBR that ranks seventh in the NFL. Fitzpatrick, 37, said he appreciated Flores telling him the news face-to-face in his office Tuesday morning. There appears to be no use wondering "why now?" because the decision seems final and he has to accept his new role. "There was a lot of stuff going through my mind yesterday, just from a personal standpoint, not necessarily with the team," Fitzpatrick said. "Is this it? Like, was that my last game as an NFL player in terms of being the starter and going out there and playing? I've been a starter, I've been benched all kinds of different ways, but this one just really more so than any of them ... this organization and what we've been through the last year and a half, this was kind of the first place other than Buffalo where I just felt fully committed and invested and felt like it was my team. To have that, I think that's a lot of the reason why I just ... my heart was so heavy yesterday. But that's the direction that the organization and I've just got to accept it." Fitzpatrick said he would not ask for or demand a trade. It was a bittersweet day for the Dolphins' locker room as they watched Fitzpatrick's immense disappointment coupled with Tagovailoa's happiness in finally achieving his dream nearly a year after suffering an injury that nearly ended his career. Tagovailoa said Flores called him Tuesday morning with the news, and he was "very excited" to hear it, but "I also felt for Fitz as well." "Although it hurts me in a way to see Fitz hurt, I'm just very, very lucky to have someone like Fitz in my corner, regardless of the situation we're in right now," Tagovailoa said. "I hate to say it like this, but it is like this: It's like a father-and-son thing." Tagovailoa made his NFL debut Sunday in garbage time, completing his only two throws for 9 yards. He soaked in the moment, coming back on the field after the game to FaceTime his parents and reminisce on all he's overcome from a career-threatening November 2019 hip injury to playing in an NFL game. Nov. 1 will mark 351 days since that injury, and Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start versus the Los Angeles Rams. "Well, it's definitely been a journey," Tagovailoa said. "I definitely think of that injury, when I got hurt. And then the process leading up to being able to walk, being able to do football drills, and being able to do things in general. I definitely do reflect on that process that I went through, and I'm definitely blessed to still be here playing the game I grew up dreaming of playing." Fitzpatrick and Tagovailoa had a discussion about the move. Teammates also were briefed on the move Wednesday by Flores, and the general reaction has been excitement for Tagovailoa. Both quarterbacks have a ton of support in the locker room, but Tagovailoa has been recognized as the future. "He's a smart, collected young man. He's very smart. He's very calm. He's definitely going to be a future great player in this league. We're all excited. We all know what he can do," linebacker Jerome Baker said. "We're ready to go. We believe in Tua. He definitely can get the job done." But for Fitzpatrick, this is a rough week. A demotion when at the peak of your performance is never easy. He hasn't made any decisions about his long-term future, but he made it clear that he likes "playing a lot more than I do sitting and watching." "This profession is interesting in that the guy that fired me -- I basically got fired yesterday and then my day of work today consisted of me in Zoom meetings listening to the guy that fired me, and then [was] locked in a spaced-out room with my replacement for four hours today. So there aren't a whole lot of jobs that are like that," Fitzpatrick said. "But I know how difficult it is to play the quarterback position, and I know that that room is so important to the guy that's playing in terms of everybody having your back and pulling in the same direction. "So today's the day to digest a little bit, and we'll get away for the bye a little bit. But, yeah, once this thing starts up again, I've got to do my best for Tua to help him out. Because there's two separate situations here. One is with Tua -- and I want him to do well and I think he's a great kid and I think he has a really bright future. And the other one is my feelings and just kind of what I'm going through. And that has to be separate from when I walk into this building and help him out. I've got to separate those feelings from trying to be a professional and help him out as best I can."
Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield -- Loss makes 4-2 feel like 0-6 - ESPN
The Browns have a winning record for the first time since 2014, but QB Baker Mayfield said "4-2 has never felt so much like 0-6 before" after a 38-7 loss to the Steelers.
BEREA, Ohio -- Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. both said that even though the Cleveland Browns still boast a winning record, it hasn't felt like it this week following a deflating 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "The feeling throughout [our] building after that loss -- 4-2 has never felt so much like 0-6 before," the Cleveland quarterback said Wednesday. "But that's because we have very high expectations for ourselves." Beckham seemed especially frustrated in Pittsburgh and visibly upset while pacing along the sideline in the fourth quarter after getting pulled from the game. "I'm pissed," Beckham said Wednesday. "And at this point, I don't really care to keep trying to make myself look like a good guy to the world and all that s---. ... Tired of losing. Tired of losing to good teams." Editor's Picks The Browns last held a winning record during the 2014 season. But an otherwise strong start has been marred by blowout losses to AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, which combined to outscore Cleveland 76-13. Despite that, ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Browns a 56.6% chance to finally snap the NFL's longest playoff drought of 18 years. According to FPI, Cleveland also faces the easiest remaining schedule in the league. "We're eager to get back to work," Mayfield said. "Fix the problems we know are within our control." Mayfield has taken the brunt of the criticism for the loss to the Steelers after producing a QBR of 5.5, the third-worst performance of any quarterback this season. While battling a chest injury that limited him in practice last week, Mayfield threw a pick-six on Cleveland's third snap, and Pittsburgh went on to sack him four times and intercept another pass. He was eventually replaced by Case Keenum late in the third quarter. Points Taken The Cleveland Browns are the seventh team in NFL history to be 4-2 or better through their first six games of a season with a points differential of -24 or worse. None of the previous six teams went on to make the playoffs.
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Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores says starting Tua Tagovailoa is what's best for team - ESPN
Dolphins coach Brian Flores says he thinks it's best to move to start QB Tua Tagovailoa. "He's gotten more comfortable," Flores said of the rookie. "We're comfortable and confident that he'll be able to be competitive in those games when that time comes."
Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores confirmed Wednesday morning that the team will start quarterback Tua Tagovailoa against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 1, after the team's bye week. As reasons for the switch, Flores cited Tagovailoa's improvement in practice and readiness as well as an overall feeling within the organization that it was time. "We feel like through practice meetings and walk-throughs that he's ready, and that's how we're going moving forward," Flores said. "[Ryan Fitzpatrick] has done a great job. He's been productive. His leadership has been great. It's not an easy decision for me or us as an organization, but we felt like for the team now and moving forward, this is the move we needed to make." The Dolphins discussed the move Monday night with coaches and front-office personnel before making the decision to start Tagovailoa. Flores said being on the bye week helped and that Tua making his NFL debut in garbage time against the New York Jets on Sunday was another item to cross off his to-do list. Ultimately, however, Flores said the feeling was that Tagovailoa had shown enough behind the scenes to be given the keys to the offense. "We've seen a lot of improvement from Tua," Flores said. "He's gotten more comfortable -- accuracy, decision-making have been good in practice. But again, practice is very different than games. We're going to do everything we can from a meeting, walkthrough, practice standpoint to get him ready to play in a game. Obviously we're comfortable and confident that he'll be able to be competitive in those games when that time comes. There's a lot that leads into that." Multiple Dolphins players told ESPN that Tagovailoa has been impressive in practice in recent weeks, with his improvement since training camp becoming more noticeable. Tagovailoa declared himself 100% healthy after his NFL debut Sunday, and he thought it was important to show mobility as he did on his first rollout pass. "He's practiced well," Flores said. "He works hard in meetings and walk-throughs. He's got a good rapport with his teammates. Every week we're going out to win, so, yeah, I'm confident that if we prepare the way he's been preparing, then I'm confident that we'll go out there and have good results. But it's not a one-man game." Flores revealed that he didn't get a chance to address the team about the QB change before ESPN and other outlets reported Tuesday that Tagovailoa was the new lead quarterback. "One thing on this situation that's unfortunate is that I didn't get a chance to address the team before this was out in the media. That's not the way I or we want to do business," Flores said. "That's unfortunate. I'm not happy about that at all. So I'll address that to the team and apologize that they had to find out on social media because I don't think that's fair to him." The other side of the coin is that the move sends Fitzpatrick, a beloved player in the locker room, to the bench. He was playing really well, so the move wasn't about his play as much as it was about Tagovailoa's development. Fitzpatrick completed 70.1 percent of his passes this season for 1,535 yards -- an average of 278.3 yards per game -- and a 95.0 passer rating. He had 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Fitzpatrick has known for a while this change would come, calling himself Tagovailoa's "placeholder" and promising he would be the rookie quarterback's "biggest cheerleader" when it happened. "Fitz has been great. He's been great really for the last year and a half," Flores said. "I don't know if anyone has been more instrumental in trying to instill a culture and embody a lot of the things we're looking for from a toughness, competitiveness, team-first [perspective]. He's made an impact on Tua and a lot of other players on this team. "I have great respect for him, and that made this decision very tough. At the end of the day, we felt like as a team that this was the best thing for the team now and moving forward to go with Tua. Fitz, the way he handles himself and his impact on the team, will still be there. He's been a tremendous asset and leader on this team."
Dallas Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch cleared to play Monday night - ESPN
Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will return Monday night, five weeks after surgery for a broken collarbone.
FRISCO, Texas -- Leighton Vander Esch is back. The Dallas Cowboys activated the linebacker from injured reserve in time to play Monday against the Arizona Cardinals, five weeks after Vander Esch had surgery to repair a broken collarbone suffered in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. Vander Esch has practiced the past two weeks and went through three full workouts, including one full-padded session, leading into the Cardinals game. Vander Esch had four tackles before he was hurt in the first quarter against the Rams. Jaylon Smith took over as the defensive signal-caller in Vander Esch's absence, and Joe Thomas moved into his middle linebacker spot. On Saturday, coach Mike McCarthy said he was encouraged that Vander Esch would be able to return after he made it through two practices without any issue. Leighton Vander Esch broke his collarbone in the season opener. Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire Asked how Vander Esch looked following last Friday's practice, Smith said, "He looks like the Wolf Hunter himself. I'm happy to have him back out here working, just grinding it away. Just excited for him. I'm just happy that he's out being able to do what he loves." The Cowboys placed quarterback Dak Prescott and defensive tackle Trysten Hill on injured reserve. Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle and Hill tore his anterior cruciate ligament in last week's win against the New York Giants. The Cowboys signed practice-squad defensive tackle Justin Hamilton to the active roster to replace Hill and called up safety Steven Parker and center Marcus Henry from the practice squad.
Browns' Baker Mayfield throws pick-six to Steelers' Minkah Fitzpatrick - ESPN
Fitzpatrick's first interception of the season was his fourth defensive TD since he entered the league in 2018, tied for the most in the NFL.
PITTSBURGH -- Minkah Fitzpatrick wasted no time welcoming Baker Mayfield to Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers safety intercepted Mayfield on a third-down attempt, leaping in front of a pass intended for tight end Harrison Bryant on the Cleveland Browns' first drive of the game Sunday. Fitzpatrick ran it back to the end zone for a 33-yard pick-six to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter. The interception was the safety's first of the season and eighth of his career. Fitzpatrick's four defensive TDs are tied with Marcus Peters for the most in the NFL since he entered the NFL in 2018, according to ESPN's Stats & Information. Fitzpatrick leads the league with nine takeaways since 2019. After posting five interceptions in his first six weeks with the Steelers last year, Fitzpatrick had a quiet start to his 2020 season, with 17 tackles and no picks in his first four games. THINGS. YOU. LOVE. TO. [email protected]_21 | CBS https://t.co/tI5aUTu7tepic.twitter.com/Su6dvq5Jn2 Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020
"Our confidence went through the roof": Nick Saban returns and Bama keeps rolling - ESPN
Alabama coach Nick Saban passed the COVID-19 test -- three straight negative results -- and inspired the Crimson Tide in Saturday night's win over Georgia.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- We should've known all along that Nick Saban wasn't going to miss a day's work. He has always appeared more machine than man during his time in the public eye -- a creature of routine and process who'd barely done worse than sniffle during his six national championship runs. He had hip replacement surgery last year, and the day after he went under the knife, his wife found him standing in the driveway, eager to get back to the office. No, Nicholas Lou Saban wasn't going to miss a football game, and especially not one the magnitude of Saturday night's. At home, against No. 3 Georgia and its coach, Kirby Smart, Saban would find a way to get to Bryant-Denny Stadium. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and three days later he had the three negative tests he needed to return to action. He grabbed a state trooper right after that third test came in, and in less than 30 minutes he was at the team hotel for pregame meetings. And later that night, after Saban led his team onto the field to a raucous applause, he did what he has always done, besting a former assistant for the 22nd consecutive time in his career. After a so-so start in which his defense struggled with a number of uncharacteristic mistakes, Alabama found its footing and wound up beating Georgia convincingly, 41-24, to remain the only undefeated team in the SEC. It didn't take long to know Saban was feeling like himself again as he tore into freshman linebacker Will Anderson after a touchdown in the first quarter and screamed bloody murder at a referee after a call for intentional grounding a few minutes later. When a defensive lineman jumped offside on fourth-and-1, triggering an automatic first down, Saban was absolutely beside himself, putting both hands out as if to ask why. The perfectionist was back in all his glory. At halftime, whatever adjustments Saban and his assistants made worked, because the defense went from looking lost to being in total control. After forcing back-to-back punts, freshman nickel back Malachi Moore picked off Stetson Bennett, and running back Najee Harris gladly exchanged the turnover for seven points and a double-digit lead. Then, moments later, safety Daniel Wright picked off Bennett again. And, again, the offense did the rest, as Mac Jones furthered his Heisman Trophy campaign with a fourth touchdown pass, truly putting the game to bed. Safety DeMarcco Hellams said the defense wanted to make a statement in the second half. He said Saban stressed this was going to be a 15-round fight and to finish the game. And they did, surrendering zero points in the third and fourth quarters. No, it wasn't Saban pulling Jalen Hurts in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, but it was a heck of a halftime turnaround nonetheless. And if Saban wasn't there, if he hadn't cleared COVID-19 protocol with hours to spare and was watching on TV like the rest the country, who knows if Alabama figures things out? No disrespect to Steve Sarkisian, who called a brilliant game as offensive coordinator, but he's not Nick Saban. No one can fill those shoes. Afterward, when Saban spoke to reporters, he didn't dwell on a shaky first half or whatever imperfections there might have been. Instead, he said it was an "obvious great win" and that he was proud of his team's fight. Jaylen Waddle celebrates his 90-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter that put Alabama on top to stay. Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports Mostly, he was proud of how his players handled the distraction of his being away. When he wasn't on the practice field Friday, when his straw hat was so noticeably missing, a source told ESPN it was bizarre and that it felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Saban appeared healthy during his Wednesday news conference and his radio show the following night, but who really knew? For three days, the college football world obsessed over Saban's condition and whether he could return. Saban tried to prepare his players for either eventuality. He told them he hadn't caught a pass or made a tackle in 40 years, so what good was he to them during a game anyway? From afar, he tried to keep them focused on the task at hand. When Saban showed up at the team hotel before kickoff, the players weren't prepared. Jones said the reaction "was pretty crazy" when Saban stepped into the quarterback room unannounced. Senior linebacker Dylan Moses said Saban being there for walk-throughs brought an added energy to everyone. Seeing Saban walk through the door, he said, "Our confidence went through the roof." And that, maybe more than any in-game adjustment or halftime speech, is the real value of having Saban on the sideline: the confidence his presence brings. For 14 seasons now, he has been a fixture at Alabama. As it turns out, not even a positive COVID-19 test can stop him from showing up.
Randy Arozarena keeps raking, slams seventh HR in playoffs in ALCS Game 7 - ESPN
The rookie outfielder put the Rays up quickly with a two-run shot against the Astros.
Randy Arozarena has done it again. The Tampa Bay Rays rookie outfielder hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning off Lance McCullers Jr. to give the Rays the early lead over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday in San Diego. Your guide to MLB's bubble ballparks »ALCS preview: Rays vs. Astros »Astros?!? How angry should you be? »NLCS preview: Dodgers vs. Braves »Why Braves are big threat to Dodgers »Playoff bracket, schedule and more » It was Arozarena's seventh home run of the postseason, a 416-foot blast to right-center off a 2-2, 97 mph fastball. He became just the fourth player to hit at least seven home runs before the World Series, matching Daniel Murphy of the 2015 Mets and B.J. Upton of the 2008 Rays at seven and sitting one behind Carlos Beltran's eight for the 2004 Astros. Arozarena had an extra round to add to his total, but he didn't homer against the Blue Jays in the wild-card series, hitting three against the Yankees in the division series and now four in the ALCS. RANDY. AROZARENA. Rays go up 2-0 as he sets a MLB record for most HRs in a postseason by a rookie (via @MLB) pic.twitter.com/nzJtEhPOQh SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 18, 2020 Even though Beltran's Astros failed to reach the World Series, Beltran shares the overall single-season postseason record at eight home runs with Barry Bonds (2002 Giants) and Nelson Cruz (2011 Rangers). Heading into his second plate appearance, Arozarena was hitting .404/.456/.904 in 14 playoff games and his 47 total bases is already second most for a single postseason, trailing David Freese's 50 for the 2011 Cardinals. Freese hit .397 that postseason and was the MVP of the National League Championship Series and the World Series. The Rays acquired the 25-year-old Cuban in the offseason from the Cardinals, surrendering 2018 first-round pick Matthew Liberatore in the deal. Arozarena tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the start of the truncated regular season, not playing his first game for Tampa Bay until Aug. 30. He hit seven home runs in September, showing more power than his minor league record projected (he hit 15 home runs in the minors in 2019 in 343 at-bats). Time to look past rookie records... Randy Arozarena has 7 HR this postseason Only players with more in a single postseason: 2011 Nelson Cruz2004 Carlos Beltrán2002 Barry Bonds ...with 8 each Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 18, 2020 #Rays HR heroes tonight: Mike Zunino4 HR in season4 HR in postseason Randy Arozarena7 HR in season7 HR in postseason#ALCS Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 18, 2020
Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor out of Game 6 lineup with ankle injury - ESPN
Chris Taylor wasn't in the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, a day after injuring his right ankle.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chris Taylor wasn't in the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, a day after injuring his right ankle. Manager Dave Roberts said Taylor was moving around and feeling better than expected. Roberts indicated the versatile player could be available to play if needed with the Dodgers facing potential elimination again. Enrique Hernandez started at second base for the Dodgers against Braves left-hander Max Fried. A.J. Pollock was in left field. Atlanta, trying to get to its first World Series since 1999, had its same lineup as Game 5 to face Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler. Taylor injured his right ankle on a throw from the left-field line in the eighth inning Friday night. Taylor finished the game. It was only the second time this postseason that Taylor didn't start for the Dodgers. He has started seven times at second base, and Game 5 of the NLCS was the fifth time in those games that he had a midgame switch to left. His other two starts in these playoffs came in left field.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban cleared to return immediately after third negative COVID-19 test - ESPN
After three negative COVID-19 tests on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Alabama coach Nick Saban has been cleared to coach against Georgia on Saturday, the school announced.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban, per SEC protocol, has been cleared to return to the sideline for Saturday night's showdown against No. 3 Georgia following his third consecutive negative test for COVID-19, the school announced. Sources told ESPN that Saban was informed he had been cleared to return a little before 12:30 p.m. ET, and he immediately left his home with a state trooper to go straight to the team hotel and was able to join meetings prior to 1 p.m. ET. Alabama team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson said in a statement that Saban had negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday following an initial positive test Wednesday. The school added two additional PCR tests, from Thursday and Friday, were taken "out of an abundance of caution" and also were found to be negative at a separate lab. "Due to the fact that Coach Saban has remained completely symptom-free and had five negative PCR tests, split between two separate labs, the initial test from Wednesday is considered a false positive under the SEC protocols," Robinson said. "... In accordance with the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol and with the approval of The University of Alabama System Health and Safety Task Force, Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately." Saturday morning's test was flown to an SEC-approved lab in Mobile, Alabama, for a quick turnaround. Robinson said in his statement that university officials had been in constant communication with the conference office throughout the process to ensure compliance with all applicable protocols. Alabama announced Wednesday that Saban, who turns 69 later this month, tested positive for COVID-19. He immediately left the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility and began self-isolating at home. SEC guidelines state that if an individual has three successive negative PCR tests through an SEC-appointed lab, each 24 hours apart, and remains asymptomatic, the initial test would be considered a false positive and the individual may be released from isolation and medically cleared to return to athletics activities. On Friday, Alabama said Saban's initial positive test result came from an outside lab that the university has used to supplement the SEC-mandated testing. A source close to Saban told ESPN that he felt from the beginning that the initial test was a false positive because he never had any symptoms or experienced a fever. "He didn't even have a sniffle," the source said. Saban wasn't at the football complex for the second half of the week, but he conducted team and staff meetings via Zoom and watched the practices on a live feed from home -- with a high-angled camera view -- and communicated with coaches by cell phone if he wanted some part of practice redone. One staffer told ESPN that Saban might not have been there physically, but that he was definitely there in spirit and didn't miss anything from home. "You didn't see him out there, but it's almost like he never left," the staffer said. Saban appeared on ESPN's College GameDay on Saturday morning from his home and acknowledged he felt a "little bit detached" this week, but that he stayed involved virtually with the team and staff in everything they've done in both practices and meetings. "Even though I'm not there, the presence has been the same," Saban said. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, who also tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, on Saturday posted on Twitter that he he is "feeling pretty good," but that he is still at home following protocol and will not attend the game vs. the Bulldogs. Thanks for all the prayers & well-wishes the last few days! Feeling pretty good . At home following protocol (while watching of course), so I'll miss being at the game tonight. Should be a great atmosphere! Please continue to mask up & socially distance.#RollTide Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) October 17, 2020 Sources told ESPN that Alabama has had no positive tests among its players in this latest round of testing and expects to be full strength for the Bulldogs' visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban told GameDay that Alabama conducted 240 tests in the past two days and all were negative. Saban said he tested negative Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before the positive test on Wednesday. "I have to trust in the doctors and medical people that make these protocols safe for all of us," Saban said. "Our players have done a good job of practicing social distancing, and this experience has made me have a lot of respect for what we should do. ... And we're going to continue to do that in the future."
Source -- Alabama Crimson Tide's Nick Saban has second straight negative coronavirus test - ESPN
A second subsequent test of Alabama coach Nick Saban on Friday showed that he is negative for COVID-19, a source told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, increasing the chances that he will coach in Saturday night's showdown against Georgia.
A second subsequent test of Alabama football coach Nick Saban on Friday showed that he is negative for COVID-19, a source told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, increasing the chances that Saban will coach in Saturday night's showdown against Georgia. Alabama officials learned of the second negative test on Friday afternoon, according to the sources, and Saban had already been tested again early Saturday. Crimson Tide officials are hoping to get the results of the latest test sometime Saturday afternoon. The test was flown to an SEC-approved lab in Mobile, Alabama, Saturday morning for a faster turnaround time. If Saban tests negative three times, each 24 hours apart, the initial positive test on Wednesday would be considered a false positive under SEC protocols, allowing him to coach the No. 2 Crimson Tide in Saturday night's nationally televised game against No. 3 Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban, who turns 69 later this month, remained in isolation Saturday morning, the sources said. In a statement on Friday, Alabama head trainer Jeff Allen said team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson evaluated Saban, who remains asymptomatic and without fever. "We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives," Allen said in the statement. "A PCR test was repeated Thursday by the SEC appointed lab and was negative." According to the statement, the initial positive test came from an outside lab that the school uses to supplement the SEC's mandated testing.