Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough suffered a broken bone in his lower right leg during Monday night’s 35-31 College Football Playoff national championship game loss to Clemson, coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday.
“Bo Scarbrough suffered a fracture to his right lower leg during the game,” Saban said in a statement. “The injury is non-surgical and we anticipate he will make a full recovery.”
Scarbrough, a sophomore, sustained the injury on a carry with 2:19 left in the third quarter and did not return.
Near the start of the fourth quarter, ESPN sideline reporter Tom Rinaldi diagnosed the injury on the game broadcast and ruled him to questionable to return.
Saban did not specify the injury when asked after the game about losing Scarbrough but did note that his loss played a key role in the defeat.
“Not to have him was probably a little bit of a disadvantage for us,” Saban said.
Before exiting the game, Scarbrough had 16 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the first half to give Alabama a 14-0 lead.
Up to the point of his injury, Scarbrough served as the main source of offense for an Alabama team that struggled with consistency for much of the game.
Sophomore running back Damien Harris took over the primary duties at running back after Scarbrough left the game but had just five carries for 24 yards. Freshman Josh Jacobs had two attempts for 16 yards.
“I was pleased with the way the other backs that had an opportunity in the game, Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris played,” Saban said. “We always miss a guy that’s Bo Scarbrough, size, especially when you want to run the ball and take some time off the clock.”
Beginning with the regular-season finale against Auburn in late November, Scarbrough emerged as Alabama’s top running back option, rushing for at least 90 yards in every game since. Over the past three games, he’s had two rushing touchdowns in each, including a 180-yard outing in a 24-7 win over Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
“Bo has really come on and played extremely well the last three or four games of the season,” Saban said. “He’s certainly been a bell cow for us, and he has certainly, because of his size and durability, he makes it difficult when the defense gets worn down a little bit.”
Scarbrough posted a photo of himself from the game Tuesday afternoon on Instagram with a caption that read “It was all worth it.”
For Scarbrough, it wouldn’t be his first notable injury. In April 2015 ahead of his freshman season, Scarbrough tore his ACL. In high school, he also suffered season-ending injuries three times with a broken ankle (freshman season), torn ACL (sophomore) and high ankle sprain (junior).
This past November, Scarbrough missed some time with a sprained knee, though that was partially precautionary.
Scarbrough rushed for 812 yards and 11 touchdowns on 125 attempts this season.
(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)
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