Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young is expected to start at Tennessee on Saturday after spraining the AC joint in his right throwing shoulder two weeks ago at Arkansas. Young fell awkwardly after an ill-advised pass on the way down.
“I expect Young to have a good chance to play,” Dr. David Chao told OutKick on Friday night. “The sprained AC joint is usually a one-to-two week injury. Even if he has lingering pain, he can opt fo a pain-numbing injection or play through the pain.”
The AC joint — acromioclavicular joint — connects the shoulder to the collarbone and can be painful during the throwing motion. Young has practiced on a limited basis this week and has not been able to throw the ball as far as he usually does, but he has made steady progress.
“The soreness he had last week hasn’t been nearly as bad,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Friday to ESPN. “You can see that when he throws it. But we still need to make sure everything checks out before the game.”
It will be a game-time final decision, as reported Thursday by OutKick. No. 3 Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) and No. 6 Tennessee (5-0, 2-0 SEC) kick off at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. The two teams have not entered this game undefeated since 1989.
Should Young not play or leave the game after starting, his backup is redshirt freshman Jalen Milroe, who started last week.
“I think we have to prepare for both,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said. “We have to have a plan even if you know who the starter is.”
In other updates, Tennessee star wide receiver Cedric Tillman (ankle) is not expected to play, nor is starting Vols’ safety Jaylen McCollough, who was arrested last week for felony aggravated assault.