Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will miss the rest of this season after suffering an offset right-handed Saturday in the 38-7 victory over Mississippi State, Alabama orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said in a statement.
Tagovailoa also suffered a posterior wall fracture, sources confirmed to ESPN, and medical officials continue to evaluate his injury to determine the best treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery, Cain said.
Tagovailoa was injured with three minutes left for halftime when he was brought down by two Bulldogs defenders while rolling left on a third down play. He got a bloody nose and couldn't put pressure on his right leg when he got the help of a coach. He was carted off the field and eventually lifted back to Birmingham for CAT scans and MRIs.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said after the game that he did not think the injury was related to the ankle injury that made Tagovailoa a game-time decision for Saturday's game. "It's a type of freak that you rarely see," he said.
"He was good, at least as good as a week ago when it came to his ability to move," Saban added. "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. And we hate that he got hurt. We hate it for him. We hate it for his family. I hate it when any player in our team gets injured, so father to him and his entire family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them and hope that this is not so serious that it has any long-term effect on his future as a player. "
Saban told ESPN's Molly McGrath that it would be Tagovailoo's last impetus for the game. Saban said Tagovailoa was still in the game to practice a two-minute drill.
"It was going to be his last series," Saban said. "We would do two minutes before the half was over just to practice. First, we have to block them better so he doesn't get looted. It's a shame."
McGrath reported that Tagovailoa screamed in pain as the coach helped lift him from the trolley.
The tide led 35-7 at the injury. Tagovailoa was 14-for-18 in 256 yards with two touchdowns.
Saban said that the coaching staff was considering putting backup quarterback Mac Jones in the game for Tagovailoa before the final series.
"We can second guess ourselves to everything we want," Saban said. "We told Mac to warm up. We would go two minutes before halftime, and Tua wanted to join the game. So I don't really make many decisions that guys would get hurt. … We had total confidence in Mac and Mac did a good job when he went in. "
Jonathan Vilma and Mark Sanchez predict both Alabama will drop in the rankings after Tua Tagovailoo's seasonal injury and tougher competition increases.
Tagovailoa, a Heisman Trophy challenger and potential top-10 pick in next spring's draft for the NFL, had surgery on his right ankle Oct. 20, a day after he was injured in the Crimson Tide's 35-13 victory. across Tennessee.
Surgeons performed a "tightrope" procedure on his right ankle, where they drilled a hole from his fibula into the tibia and threw three tensions through the bone and hung it down to tighten it, according to Dr. Norman Waldrop, who was a part of the medical team that performed the procedure on Tagovailoo's left ankle f to let the SEC championship last season.
Tagovailoa missed Alabama's 48-7 victory over Arkansas on October 26 but returned to start against LSU last week. His mobility was limited, but he still completed 21 of 40 passes for 418 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in the Crimson Tide's 46-41 loss to the Tigers.
"So I look at it all is Tua's # 1 quarterback and if he can play physically we want to play him in the game," Saban said when asked about the value of putting him in the game when he is 28 points ahead. "That's what he wanted to do, and that's what our team wanted to do. If I had known – to know that something bad was going to happen, I certainly would not have put him in that situation. But we are a law. We are a team trying to get better … to see if we can end the season as we please. "
Whether Tagovailoo's injury affects Alabama's chances of making the Playoff College College may not be known for a few weeks.
" If these reports prove to be true, our thoughts and prayers go out to Tua and his family, "she said CFP Chief Executive Bill Hancock to ESPN: "In terms of football, three weeks remain during the season, and the selection committee does not project forward."