Up 35-7 late in the second quarter of Saturday's game, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa rolled left, something he'd done hundreds of times. However, as two Mississippi State Bulldogs defenders gave chase, the Heisman Trophy candidate was pulled down awkwardly with the weight of three men coming down on his right hip.
As head coach Nick Saban and his team looked on, their superstar QB writhed in pain on the field before being helped onto the medical cart and taken to the locker room. ESPN's Molly McGrath reported that Tagovailoa was "screaming in pain" after a scary injury for every 'Bama fan in Tuscaloosa and beyond.
Tua Tagovailoa Right Hip Injury
Nick Saban told McGrath at halftime that that was Tagovailoa's last series of the game, which would allow him the chance to practice the two-minute drill. He added that Tagovailoa did not lobby to stay in the game.
Tagovailoa underwent surgery for a high-ankle sprain after going down against Tennessee and was a game-time decision for the Alabama Crimson Tide's loss to the LSU Tigers last week, as well as this week.
Mac Jones entered at quarterback. Earlier this year, he started in place of Tagovailoa and played well against the Arkansas Razorbacks, finishing 18-of-22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Inevitably, the conversation will shift from yet another Tua Tagovailoa injury to Saban's decision to keep him in the game. Hindsight is always 20-20, but there is no way Saban should be at fault for keeping Tua in that game. It was the second quarter, and, despite a four-touchdown lead, the Crimson Tide still had a long way to go. They needed to make a statement in this SEC matchup in order to keep the College Football Playoff committee's attention, too.
Oddly enough, ESPN college football analyst Tim Tebow said before Saturday's game (via 247Sports), "I think that would be the wisest thing, to sit this young man [until the Iron Bowl against Auburn]. You know he's going to come back healthy and ready to go. Plus, the committee will say he was so hurt against LSU, he couldn't play the next week. You know (Nick) Saban is thinking about it too."
Tagovailoa received an X-ray on his right hip, but social media was already jumping to conclusions without seeing the results. ESPN medical expert D. Mark Adickes tweeted that a potential posterior hip subluxation and labral tear is possible, which would end Tagovailoa's season.
UPDATE: Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News reported that Tagovailoa was taken to nearby St. VIncent's Medical Center in Birmingham by helicopter.
Alabama held on to defeat Mississippi State, 38-7.
UPDATE (5:00 p.m. ET): The Athletic's Aaron Suttles reported that Tua Tagovailoa is out for the remainder of the season with a "dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture."
Tagovailoa has likely played his last game as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Read more College Football news here.
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