Nick Saban knew Tua Tagovailoa was limited heading into the Mississippi State game yet believed his starting quarterback needed more practice running the team’s two-minute offense.

At least, that was his explanation moments after Tagovailoa was carted off the field with a hip injury.

Late in the second quarter with Alabama up 35-7, Tagovailoa was rolling out to his left when he was rolled up on by two Mississippi State defenders. Tagovailoa was 14 of 18 for 256 yards and two touchdowns in the game before leaving.

Heading into the locker room for halftime, Saban was asked for the latest update on his star signal-caller.

“He hurt his hip, I don’t know anything else more than that,” Saban said. “They took him in to look at him. That was going to be his last series, we were going to do two-minute (offense) before the half with him, just for practice. Of course, we got to block them better so he doesn’t get sacked. Too bad.”

If you missed it, backup quarterback Mac Jones had been warming up on the sidelines just before Tua got hurt on the field. Saban was asked about the strategy under center and Jones warming up just before Tua got injured.

“We were going to put Mac in but we let Tua in just for practice,” Saban added. “I don’t worry about players getting hurt. Certainly don’t want to see anyone get hurt, especially him.”