Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms from the coronavirus, according to the program. This revelation comes three days before the No. 1 Crimson Tide are scheduled to play No. 22 Auburn in their annual Iron Bowl rivalry game that will be featured as the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.
“This morning we received notification that Coach Saban tested positive for COVID-19. He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home,” the program said in a statement.
This is the second time this season that Saban has tested positive for COVID-19. He previously tested positive before Alabama’s game against Georgia but was asymptomatic. Saban was eventually cleared to coach the game against the Bulldogs after testing negative three times, indicating the initial test was likely a false positive.
Alabama’s statement suggests things will be different this time around, which means the Crimson Tide will be coached from the sideline by someone other than Saban as they seek revenge Saturday for last year’s loss to Auburn. The program’s succession plan before the Georgia game called for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to take an elevated role while Saban was out after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Crimson Tide will presumably follow a similar plan this time around, though specifics have not been released about how the staff will adjust in Saban’s absence. Saban, who turned 69 last month, continued to work from home after testing positive for COVID-19 the first time.
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