Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron wouldn’t have been the first player to skip the Senior Bowl because they didn’t think they needed it.
But McCarron said Tuesday night that medical concerns, rather than a belief he’s a top-20 pick, was the reason he skipped the college all-star game in his hometown of Mobile, Ala.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Senior Bowl in my hometown,” McCarron said, via Randy Kennedy of al.com. “But my body was banged up during the year. I wanted to push through it and finish out the year for my teammates.
“When it came time to decide, I asked the advice of our team doctors, who are some of the best in the country. They said I should stay out of the game and get my body back to 100 percent healthy.”
For one thing, if the guy who is dating a famous attractive person dreams at night of playing in a meaningless game at Ladd Peebles Stadium, well then no one should question his dedication to the game.
The bigger question might then become which of these injuries are red flags of a different nature.
McCarron nursed a toe injury throughout the season, which required a minor procedure the week after the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
He also had a sore shoulder, the result of a dive for the end zone, and admitted arm fatigue since the middle of the season.
“I jammed my shoulder when I was diving for the pylon against Tennessee,” he said. “Structurally, there was never anything wrong, but since then I’ve been fighting a sore shoulder that just got more tired each week.”
He doesn’t need surgery for that problem, and said he was cleared Tuesday for the first time since the end of the season.
“My shoulder feels better than it ever has now,” he said. “I’ve been working on my throwing mechanics and my arm is going to be stronger than it’s ever been.”
If he chooses, he can display that arm strength next month at the Combine, provided he feels sufficiently healthy for that high honor.