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College Sports: Alabama-Oklahoma injury update: Marquise Brown, Tua Tagovailoa trending toward playing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa both appear to be on track to play in the Orange Bowl on Saturday.

Brown, who suffered a lower leg injury in OU’s win over Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game, was fully suited for practice Wednesday. Earlier this month, coach Lincoln Riley declined to say whether or not Brown would be ready to play.

Brown’s speed is a game-changer for the Sooners. Despite battling injuries for much of the season, he managed 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018. If he’s unable to go, or if he’s not 100 percent, it would remove Oklahoma’s ability to take the top off of Alabama’s defense.

“I have to stay deep (with Brown on the field),” star safety Deionte Thompson said. “I’m a safety. I have to be the deepest of the deepest.”

Oklahoma still has other offensive weapons for Thompson to keep note of, including receiver CeeDee Lamb. He was complimentary of OU’s entire offensive personnel.

“In this offense, you have to account for a lot of people,” Thompson said. “They are one hell of a team, and the body of work that they put together this season has been phenomenal.”

Tagovailoa underwent ankle surgery after Alabama’s win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1.

“I’m getting treatment at this moment but it’s been a lot better,” Tagovailoa said. “If I could grade it from a scale of zero to 100 I would probably say it’s about 80 to 85 percent.”

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.

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