Alabama Football: Nick Saban lets players go home for holidays

Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football players are allowed to go home for Christmas.

The dumpster fire that is 2020 has brought some changes to Alabama football’s schedule. With an extended regular season and later SEC Championship, there is now less time to prepare for the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Regardless, Nick Saban has given his players the opportunity to go home to spend Christmas with their families. They will get three days off before preparing for Notre Dame.

This follows suit with how the athletes handled the bye week in November. Alabama football players got to go home while being informed about the importance of staying safe during the pandemic. Not only would a case of COVID-19 be bad for the health of the players, but it would also keep them from playing in the CFP semifinal. Depending on when the diagnosis occurs, it might also keep players from playing in the national championship.

This is a difficult situation to manage. You want the players to be focused on the game, but spending the holidays with their families would be great for morale. However, there also is the concern of COVID-19 that makes this decision tougher. Fans will hope that Nick Saban made the best decision, but we won’t know the ramifications for at least a week.

While Alabama has seen its fair share of COVID cases, only one starting player has missed a game due to the disease. There have been a few reserve players and Nick Saban himself miss games, but there has not been a true outbreak like what we have seen around the SEC.

Thankfully, Alabama football players are frequently tested. If they do catch COVID-19 over the holidays, they will be treated by some of the best doctors in the country. Obviously, all fans can do is hope that everyone remains safe over the holidays.

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Before this season began, Nick Saban commented that players were safer if they were in Tuscaloosa with the team. We will truly see how accurate he was as he sends players back home with just a week to go before the College Football Playoff.