Notebook: Injuries Abound for Crimson Tide

Alabama Athletics
Joey Blackwell

STARKVILLE, Miss. — It was a black-and-blue game when Alabama visited SEC West rival Mississippi State on Saturday, complete with numerous injuries.

The headliner was obviously Crimson Tide junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leaving late in the second quarter with a hip injury. But he wasn't the only one to leave the game.

“I think Raekwon [Davis] has a sprained ankle,” head coach Nick Saban said after the 38-7 victory. “D.J. Dale has a twisted knee or whatever. A couple of other guys beat up. [Henry Ruggs III] came out with a bruised rib so we’ll see where that takes us and that’s about it from an injury standpoint.”

The senior defensive end Davis left the game not once, but twice. His first time leaving the game was with roughly 10 minute left in the first quarter after being call for a face-mask penalty. Davis was holding his right/arm wrist while walking under his own power, and was replaced by freshman Justin Eboigbe while in the medical tent. 

Two plays and a time out later, Davis was back in the game.

In the final minute before halftime, though, Davis was taken out once again with an injury, this time looking more severe. Davis needed help getting to the sideline and did not return. .

Saban later confirmed it was a sprained ankle and he was later seen wearing a walking boot. The severity of the sprain is not currently known.

Dale, the starting freshman nose tackle, left the game limping just two plays after Davis’ return from the medical tent with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter. He was later riding an exercise bike on the sideline, but did not return.

Ruggs went down clutching his side midway through the third quarter.  He had three receptions for 39 yards in the game.

Najee Harris has another big game

After posting up solid numbers last weekend against LSU, junior running back Najee Harris had another solid outing against the Bulldogs.

Harris was a threat in both the running and the passing games. On the ground, he tallied 88 yards on 17 attempts and three touchdown, with his longest run being a 20-yard sprint

Harris also made three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. The 19-yard score was the sixth of his career, and set an Alabama new single-season record for touchdown receptions by a running back.

With three of Harris’ touchdowns occurring in the first quarter, he also became the first Alabama running back in history to score three touchdowns in the first quarter.

Harris was rather quiet after the game and was, according to himself, in a dismal mood because of Tagovailoa’s injury. Harris even went as far as to ask that he not be given any questions about Tagovailoa and his injury. Even when asked about his four-touchdown performance, all he could do was talk about his quarterback.

“I’m just hurt about our quarterback,” Harris said. “I’m not in the mood to answer questions to be honest, so that is why I’m giving short answers, I’m not trying to be rude to anybody, I’m just not in the mood right now really.”

He added: “[Tagovailoa] means a lot to the team. That’s out guy. I came here the same time that he did. We’ve been friends ever since my freshman year and to see him go down like that really hurts.”

With Tagovailoa done for the season, the team will need the strong legs of Harris if it desires to keep its postseason hopes alive.

Tide-Bits

MSU senior quarterback Tommy Stevens led the Bulldogs in rushing with 108 yards on 10 attempts. Meanwhile, he had just 82 passing yards. … Alabama freshman walk-on punter Ty Perine had two punts for an average of 39.5 yards, with a long of 42. … With freshman linebacker Shane Lee’s interception in the first quarter, the Alabama defense has recovered a turnover in every single game this season, having at least one fumble or interception in 10 consecutive games. … Alabama’s 38-7 victory marks the 90th time under Saban that that the Crimson Tide held its opponent to 10 points or less. … Alabama’s captains were senior defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, junior wide receiver DeVonta Smith and junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. … Attendance was 57,607. … The temperature at kickoff was 46 degrees. … SEC Official Ken Williamson and his crew worked the game.

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