Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was injured heading into today’s game against Mississippi State, with his high ankle sprain bothering him seriously enough that there was some talk he might not play. As it turned out he did start the game, but didn’t finish.
In the second quarter, Tagovailoa was smothered by two Mississippi State defenders as he passed, and in the process he appeared both to injure his hip and to sustain a bloody nose. Tagovailoa was carted off the field, and ESPN reported that he was “screaming in pain.”
Tagovailoa was playing an outstanding game before he got hurt, completing 14 of 18 passes for 256 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and Alabama had a 35-7 lead.
The injury will undoubtedly raise questions about why Alabama coach Nick Saban had him in the game. Alabama surely didn’t need Tagovailoa to beat Mississippi State.
“He hurt his hip,” Saban told ESPN at halftime. “I don’t know anything else more than that. . . . I don’t worry about players getting hurt, but I certainly don’t want to see anybody get hurt, especially him.”
And the next question will be whether Tagovailoa will or should play another college football game. He’s a potential first overall pick in the NFL draft, and a serious injury could cost him tens of millions of dollars. Even with Alabama hoping for a national championship, it would be hard to blame Tagovailoa if he decided to call it quits on the season and focus on the 2020 draft.