OAKLAND -- Before becoming a breakout star for the Raiders, Josh Jacobs was one of a multitude of playmakers in Alabama's backfield.
Last season, Jacobs shared the backfield with college football's biggest star, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa was seen as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, but everything changed Saturday when the junior signal-caller was hit during the end of the second quarter of Alabama's eventual 38-7 win over Mississippi State. Tagovailoa was hit as he let the ball go. He stayed down on the field with his helmet off before being carted off the field.
Tua, the game's brightest star, dislocated his right hip, the team announced. Tagovailoa also suffered a posterior wall fracture, The Athletic's Aaron Suttles reported Saturday.
Following the Raiders' 17-10 win over the Bengals on Sunday at the Coliseum, Jacobs spoke about the devastating injury to his former teammate.
"It’s a tragedy, honestly," Jacobs said."That’s because of the type of person he is. If you’ve ever met him, he’s the coolest dude on Earth. To see him go through all the adversity he has gone through [in the past] is huge. He has been in my prayers. Hopefully, he can come back from this."
Alabama team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said the hip dislocation was "immediately reduced at the stadium." Tagovailoa will have surgery Monday in Houston and is expected to make a full recovery. He will miss the rest of the season as Alabama vies for a spot in the College Football Playoffs, and there is no timetable for his recovery.
This type of hip injury is tricky and the exact course of action and rehab isn't known as it would be for a torn ACL or an ankle injury. Tua will have surgery and then he will go from there. His NFL future will be decided by how teams view the injury and his rehab timetable.
The injury likely ends what was a captivating college career for Tagovailoa. He burst onto the scene in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, replacing the ineffective Jalen Hurts at halftime to lead the Crimson Tide back from a 13-point deficit to force overtime against Georgia.
After Georgia kicked a field goal to open overtime, Tagovailoa took a sack that knocked Alabama out of field goal range. A freshman facing the biggest moment of his life, Tagovaiola answered his costly mistake with one of the most iconic plays in college football history. He dropped back, looked the safety off and threw a strike down the left side to DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard touchdown to give Alabama the title.
His sophomore season only can be categorized as brilliant. He threw for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns and would have won the Heisman if not for an ankle injury that knocked him out of the SEC Championship Game against Georiga.
Tagovailoa has faced a number of injuries in his college career but none as severe as this. The road back will be long, and his draft stock will be a roller coaster for the next several months.
He was a college football icon who forced Nick Saban to change the way his offense is run in order to accommodate and utilize a transcendent talent. He was mesmerizing. His deep-ball captivating. Every time he dropped back, the stadium held its breath in anticipation of the next unbelievable play.
Jacobs had a front-row seat to Tagovailoa's greatness and resiliency. He hopes, like the rest of us, he can see it again.