Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer
- Senior college football writer
- Author of seven books on college football
- Graduate of the University of 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.
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