AJ McCarron led Alabama to a second consecutive national championship while dealing with a significant rib injury.
In an interview with ESPN.com, the junior quarterback said he was hurt against Mississippi State on Oct. 27 and had to play the final six games of the season through “nagging pain” due to three ribs that “kept popping in and out of place.”
McCarron’s play dipped immediately after he was hurt. He struggled the following week against LSU before leading the Tide to a comeback win in the final minute. He then threw his first two interceptions of the season in a loss to Texas A&M the next Saturday.
Part of the cause was the inability to practice and maintain cohesiveness with Alabama’s receivers.
“When it first happened, I still tried to throw some so our timing wouldn’t fall off that much in our passing game,” McCarron said. “That’s one of the things that kind of put a damper on our passing game a little. I was injured, and we had so many receivers injured, so it was hard to do a whole lot in practice. That kind of threw us off a little, but we still kept it going.”
McCarron said the five weeks between the SEC championship game and the BCS title game allowed him to heal. And he played much better against Notre Dame, throwing for four touchdowns in a blowout victory.
“I couldn’t throw much during the week for a long time, really almost up to the bowl game,” McCarron said. “I was hurting really bad through the week, and it just took a long time for those ribs to heal.”
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