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Crimson Tide faces COVID-19 as it prepares for the Cotton Bowl

Pat Duggins

COVID-19 is an issue as the Crimson Tide fine tunes its game plan for Friday’s championship playoff game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Alabama will face the Cincinnati Bearcats while Michigan plays Georgia in the Orange Bowl. Two assistant coaches for the Tide have COVID-19 and the team is taking precautions like masking and social distancing. Alabama linebacker Christian Harris told reporters the Tide needs to stay focused and keep building on its two crucial wins over Auburn and Georgia…

“I think they’re a very great team, very explosive,” said Harris. “I know they’ve beat some good teams this year. They’ve put up a lot of points. As well as their passing game, they’ve got a really good quarterback. Of course, their running back, I think he’s over a thousand years right now already.”

Sportswriters believe Alabama preserved its shot at the playoffs with two critical wins. The come-from-behind victory over Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl rivalry game, and beating undefeated Georgia to take the Southeastern Conference championship. Harris says the Tide needs to keep building on those two crucial wins as it heads to the Cotton Bowl.

“You know, just developing a stronger brotherhood, when you get in those tough moments in four quarters,” Harris believed. “Focus on one play at a time. Automatically makes your team closer. You have to rely on the guy next you to do his job, especially in clutch moments like that.”

The Crimson Tide has already instituted protocols to protect the team against COVID-19, the flu, and even stomach bugs. The winner of the Cotton Bowl will go onto play in the college football championship against either Michigan or Georgia. Those two teams will play in Orange Bowl later on New Year’s Eve. Organizers say if a playoff team drops out due to COVID-19, their opponent will advance to the title game.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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