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Alabama HC Nick Saban, AD Greg Byrne test positive for Covid-19, per school

The Crimson Tide’s head coach has been vocal about mask-wearing.

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team onto the field prior to the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Oxford, Mississippi. Photo by Kent Gidley/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Update 12:27 p.m. October 17th: Nick Saban will coach for Alabama in tonight’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Update 5:00 p.m. October 16th: It appears Nick Saban might be coaching on the sidelines against Georgia on Saturday after all?

The University of Alabama athletic department announced on Wednesday that head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have both tested positive for Covid-19. Saban directed Wednesday’s practice from home, according to Cecil Hurt.

No. 2 Alabama is scheduled to face No. 3 Georgia this Saturday.

This would be the first head coach in the SEC to be diagnosed with the virus, but the impact of potentially the best college football coach in history can’t be understated. Saban has been vocal about asking fans to practice social distancing and wearing masks, particularly in his home state.

Saban is 21-0 against his former assistant coaches, and is scheduled to face his former defensive coordinator Kirby Smart on Saturday. How much of an impact not having one of the strongest personalities in the sport not being available for the Crimson Tide will be interesting. While he doesn’t call plays directly and does empower his assistant coaches, Saban also isn’t afraid to interject himself in the game plan on the fly as well.

Alabama is currently a 3.5 point favorite at home on Saturday.