While trying to escape the grasp of Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron spun awkwardly and fell to the ground.
The sack play was enough to give Crimson Tide fans a near heart attack as McCarron was slow to get up and needed the assistance of athletic trainers to get off the field.
Alabama has been bitten by the injury bug several times this season, losing key players like Jarrick Williams, Jalston Fowler, DeAndrew White and Dee Hart all to knee injuries. The last thing this team needs is to add the starting quarterback to the list.
While on the sideline, trainers blew cold air on McCarron's right knee and then put a sleeve over it. He hopped up and started gingerly jogging around. All the while backups Blake Sims and Phillip Ely warmed up. But on Alabama’s next offensive series, McCarron ran up to the huddle and said he was ready to go.
“He said he could play, he was able to back in the game and AJ wanted to go back in the game,” said head coach Nick Saban. “As long as the doctor said it was OK for him to go back in the game, I was OK with him going back in the game.”
At this point, Alabama was only up 28-10 and Saban said the team wasn’t in a position where it could sit McCarron if he was good enough to go back in.
“We certainly were not to where you get concerned about ‘is this game over?’ because they’re one score away from getting back in the game,” he said.
McCarron toughed it out and took the field and tested his knee on a four-yard rush on the next drive. He appeared fine, and finished the night 16 of 21 for 171 yards, and extended his consecutive completions without an interception record to 227.
He’ll be re-evaluated on Sunday.
But McCarron wasn’t the only Tider to go down. After rushing 18 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns, running back Eddie Lacy left the game with a bruised hand. He told reporters after the game he kept getting hit by helmets and wasn’t wearing gloves because the rain would have made them slippery.
Wide receiver Christion Jones, who caught two passes for 19 yards and returned two punts for 33 yards, was sidelined the entire second half with a sprained ankle.
Saban said after the game that both players would be OK.
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