Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carted off the field with a right hip injury late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Mississippi State and is out for the season, according to multiple reports.
Nov 16, 2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) looks to make a pass against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Tagovailoa suffered “a dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture, a person with knowledge of the situation tells me,” Aaron Suttles of The Athletic wrote on Twitter.
Coach Nick Saban said in a postgame on-field interview that the injury “could be serious.”
He later told reporters after the 38-7 win, “We hate it that he got injured. We hate it for him. We hate it for his family. I hate it when any player on our team gets injured. So Godspeed to him and his entire family and our thoughts and prayers are with them and hope this is not so serious it has any long-term effect on his future as a player.”
Tagovailoa, last season’s Heisman runner-up, was injured while being sacked and slammed to the ground by two defenders. The training staff helped Tagovailoa off the field in Starkville, Miss., as the quarterback was unable to put any weight on his right side. His nose also was bleeding.
ESPN reported after the game that he was airlifted to Birmingham, Ala., to undergo both CAT scans and MRI testing.
Shortly after the injury, ESPN sideline reporter Molly McGrath said Tagovailoa was screaming in pain as he was lifted off the cart in the training room.
Tagovailoa guided the No. 5 Crimson Tide (9-1) to touchdowns on their first five drives before beginning the last possession with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter. They were leading 35-7 at the time of the injury.
Saban told McGrath as he came off the field at halftime that the coaches were preparing to replace Tagovailoa with backup Mac Jones with the game against the Bulldogs (4-6) well in hand. He said he left him in at the end of the half to practice the two-minute offense.
“We can second-guess ourselves all we want,” Saban said after the game. “We told Mac to warm up. We were going to go two-minute before the half, and Tua wanted to go in the game. So I don’t really make a lot of decisions about guys getting hurt. … We had total confidence in Mac, and Mac did a good job when he went in.”
Saban said he didn’t know how severe the injury was but didn’t think it had any correlation to a previous right ankle injury. Tagovailoa had surgery on his ankle on Oct. 20 and returned to play in last week’s 46-41 loss to No. 1 LSU. Saban said earlier this week the quarterback was a game-time decision against Mississippi State.
“He was good, at least as good as he was a week ago in terms of his ability to move,” Saban said. “I don’t think anything he did affected his performance in the first half. So the guy played, and I thought he played really well.”
Before the injury, Tagovailoa was 14-of-18 passing for 256 yards with two touchdowns. He entered the game second nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 204.9.
Jones started in a 48-7 win over Arkansas on Oct. 26, completing 18 of 22 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Alabama hosts against West Carolina next Saturday before finishing the regular season at Auburn on Nov. 30.
—Field Level Media