Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be questioned about this one for a while. In a game that saw the Crimson Tide leading 35-7 against Mississippi State, Saban saw his star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa go down – again. And this time, Tagovailoa’s return appears likely to be a major question mark.
According to The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, Tagovailoa suffered a major right hip injury and was “screaming in pain” on the field, per analyst Molly McGrath.
Tagovailoa was clearly not 100 percent going into the game, and instead of starting backup Mac Jones at quarterback, or at the very least pulling the starter early, Saban opted to take the risk. Now, he may regret that decision for the remainder of the season. Despite playing on an injured ankle, Tagovailoa had a great start to the game. The Crimson Tide quarterback went 9-9 for 193 yards and two touchdowns before getting injured for the second time this season.
Tua Tagovailoa Suffered Multiple Injuries in Game Saturday
Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury, but he was also bleeding, according to multiple reports:
Tagovailoa suffered a bloody nose when his head hit the turf after a hard hit, but his hip is the most concerning issue here. At halftime, when asked about his injured starting quarterback, Saban was non-descriptive: “He hurt his hip. I don’t know anything more than that. … that was going to be his last series. We were going to do 2-minute before the half with him, just for practice,” Saban said.
It seems key that Saban noted he was planning on taking Tagovailoa out the very next series. Regardless, Tagovailoa was apparently unable to put any weight at all, on the right side of his body, which is certainly concerning. Tagovailoa had to be picked up and carried to, and then off the medical cart.
According to sports medical analyst Dr. David Chao–also known as Pro Football Doc on Twitter – Tagovailoa may have suffered a “right hip posterior dislocation.” While Chao is not Tagovailoa’s physician and has not examined him, the medical analyst has a strong track record when it comes to predicting injuries. Chao also noted something that could be crucial, and a positive sign for Tagovailoa: he says the odds are good the hip may not have fractured.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Adickes added his thoughts on Twitter after looking at the video of Tagovailoa’s injury. “Mechanism consistent with posterior hip subluxation. Leads to labral tear. Surgery probable. Season likely over,” he wrote.
Tagovailoa will be getting X-rays immediately, and we will know more when that happens.
After Tagovailoa’s injury, several fans and sports media analysts took to Twitter to rake Saban over the coals for keeping Tua in the game when his team was winning so handily. Apparently, Tua had asked to stay in for one more series, and his coach allowed it, as David Furones of the South Florida Sun Sentinel detailed.
Those pointing out Saban feels awful are likely correct.
The severity of Tagovailoa’s injury is yet to be known. Cecil Hurt, who covers Alabama football, reported via Twitter that Tagovailoa was taken by helicopter to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Birmingham, which was done not for emergency purposes, but because it was the fastest way to get Tagovailoa to the hospital, where he will have surgery over the next day or so.
UPDATE: Per Aaron Suttles of The Athletic, Tagovailoa will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated hip: