Alabama freshman QB Taulia Tagovailoa entered the 2019 season as the Crimson Tide’s third-string quarterback. With older brother Tua Tagovailoa the starter and veteran Mac Jones the backup, Taulia appeared to be on track to play in four games and redshirt. That all changed with Tua’s season-ending injury against Mississippi State.

On Thursday, Nick Saban revealed that Taulia will play against Western Carolina on Saturday, pushing his total to five games and eliminating the possibility of redshirting in 2019.

“With him being now the backup quarterback, we thought that we needed to play him because if something happens to this quarterback, Mac Jones, he’s going to be the guy that’s gotta go in the game and try to win the game for us,” Saban said on “Hey Coach & The Nick Saban Show.”

“We’re going to play (Taulia) this week … regardless (of) how the game goes. … (Tua’s season-ending injury) kind of negated the opportunity to be able to redshirt Taulia,” he added.

Taulia hit the four-game mark against MSU. He has thrown just 9 passes, completing 7 for 65 yards. The Thompson product was rated 4-stars, the No. 5 pro-style prospect, No. 8 recruit in the state of Alabama and No. 180 prospect overall nationally on the 247Sports Composite. He pledged to the Crimson Tide on April 21, 2018 and enrolled in January 2019.