Linebacker Mosley in spring practice after BCS game injury
by Michael Casagrande
mcasagrande@annistonstar.com
Mar 22, 2012 | 7844 views | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is carted off the field after getting hurt in the third quarter of the BCS national championship game. Mosley is back in action for the Crimson Tide's spring practice. (File photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is carted off the field after getting hurt in the third quarter of the BCS national championship game. Mosley is back in action for the Crimson Tide's spring practice. (File photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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TUSCALOOSA — Sprawled out on the Superdome turf, uncertainty clouded C.J. Mosley’s future.

He’d just made a huge interception in the third quarter of the BCS title game, but the crowd was silent. Trent Richardson cringed as he stood by Mosley’s side.

His hip was out of socket. It didn’t look good.

A first glance said the gruesome injury could’ve threatened a few years of football — possibly his career. The twisting tackle made by LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson on the Alabama linebacker only looked worse as replays continued.

Just a few months later, Mosley laughs when he rewinds the tape of his hip dislocation. What appeared so damaging didn’t even keep him from spring practices. Mosley participated “at full go” when the Crimson Tide put on full pads for the first time Wednesday afternoon in its third spring workout.

He smiles when remembering that moment when a promising career faced a possible crossroads. A dislocated elbow suffered in the fourth game of the championship season helped the sophomore identify the injury.

“Surprisingly, it didn’t feel as bad as that,” Mosley said. “But when they started yanking on it and pulling it in, that’s when I really started feeling it.”

The pain was a “10 out of 10” when trainers rushed to his side. It spoiled his top highlight of the season.

Alabama led LSU 12-0 midway through the third quarter when Mosley dropped back into 2-deep coverage. His assignment: Read and react.

So when he saw Jefferson move up in the pocket and running back Spencer Ware turn his head, Mosley reacted. Intercepting the flip pass on the run, he didn’t get far before encountering Jefferson.

The clean tackle twisted Mosley in a circle. Everything moved but his hip.

Teammates and officials reacted quickly as he reached skyward in pain and his leg pointed in unnatural direction.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Mosley said. “I knew it was in my hip and I knew from my elbow it was a dislocation. People were concerned about my knee or my ankle and things like that. But when they were telling me about the things that could have happened and could have gone wrong, I thank God that it didn’t.”

A cart carried Mosley off the field as he offered reassurance to the cheering crowd. He’d be back on the sideline relatively soon, though.

Ultimately, the injury wasn’t as catastrophic as it first appeared, but the nature of it was uncommon for football action. Mosley said he was told car accidents or “heavy trauma” was necessary to dislocate a hip.

“That’s why I was lucky to get it put back in,” Mosley said. “Usually you have to go through anesthesia just to get a hip put back in.”

The next morning, coach Nick Saban offered positive news.

“If the MRI comes out okay and there wasn’t any damage to the joint,” Saban said, “he’ll be fine in six weeks.”

A few New Orleans blocks away, Mosley faced the most difficult part of the recovery ― getting out of bed for the first time. He had to wear a knee brace similar to one used after someone tears his ACL so his hip wouldn’t dislocate again.

The MRI revealed no major damage and Mosley’s hip never required surgery. He felt better about his chances to participate in spring practices at that point, but he didn’t expect to feel as good as he does now.

And regardless of the pain he felt at the time, Mosley wasn’t about to watch the postgame celebration from a hospital room or the locker room. He suited back up in his team warm-ups and crutched back to the sideline.

“It was hurting, but I couldn’t miss that part,” he said. “I’d been through this much to help the team. They supported me. When I got carted off the field, I held up four fingers for the fourth quarter. We’re all a team, whether we’re hurt or anything. I have to be on the field with them.”

On the net

For video of the Mosley’s injury, go to The Daily Bama Blog at dailybamablog.com

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