Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is out for the season after dislocating his hip in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Mississippi State.
“Tua Tagovailoa sustained a right hip dislocation that was immediately reduced at the stadium,” team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said in a statement Saturday night. “He is undergoing further testing to determine the best course of treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery but will miss the remainder of the season.”
Tagovailoa has been expected to declare for the NFL Draft after the season and compete to be the top pick.
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.
“We hate it that he got injured. We hate it for him. We hate it for his family,” coach Nick Saban said after the 38-7 win. “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.”
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.”
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, but the coach didn’t think there was a correlation between the injuries.
“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.
Tagovailoa was a backup to Jalen Hurts as a freshman but came off the bench at halftime of the national championship game to lead Alabama to a 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia, connecting with DeVonta Smith on a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass.
Tagovailoa’s college career appears over after he threw for 7,698 yards with 89 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in 702 attempts.
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 (@FieldLevelMedia)