After a false-positive earlier in the season, Alabama coach Nick Saban has now tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, such as a runny nose.
The coach will now miss Saturday’s visit by Auburn in the Iron Bowl as he enters the mandated isolation period of a minimum of 10 days.
With Saban sidelined, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will take over the head-coach responsibilities, a well as his usual play-calling duties.
Saban will miss being on the sideline for one of the biggest games of the season, however, the coach will have access to the same 22-camera angle feed that coaches use to analyse the game.
“I know how important it is for a lot of them. And I know how difficult it is sometimes when you have disruptions to overcome those. But we have a lot of very capable coaches. And the biggest thing I’m going to miss about it is being with our players, being a part of our team and helping those players have the best opportunity to be successful.”
“We’ll do the best we can to try to analyze what’s happening and see if there’s any way we can be of some kind of use. But I have confidence in our coaches and our players that they’ll be able to do what they have to do. I mean, we’ve all got to live with the consequences of what happens whether I’m standing there or not. So that’s something I hope everybody realizes.”
As we reach the pointy end of the college football season, the earliest Saban can return to the touchline will be the game against Arkansas on December 5.
However, his return is subject to passing SEC protocol that states “At least 24 hours must have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptom improvement (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, etc.) has occurred, in accordance with current [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance for isolation.”
Saban is unaware of how he may have caught the virus.
“I’m around nobody. I go home, and I go to the office. I have no idea,” he concluded.