AJ McCarron has received a heavy load of criticism for skipping out on the Senior Bowl in his hometown of Mobile, AL. The Crimson Tide quarterback has now fully explained his reasons for bypassing an extra chance to workout for NFL scouts.
According to McCarron, he has been nursing injuries since the season’s first game against Virginia Tech. Prior to the contest he was in a walking boot after a teammate stepped on his toe.
“When my toe got stepped on, the nail on my big toe cracked and the doctor had to cut off most of it,” he said. “It never healed all season and kept getting infected. We thought the nail would grow back together, but a new nail grew under it. So after the Sugar Bowl I had a procedure to cut the nail out again. I was in a boot for a week after that.”
He has also been nursing a shoulder injury since Alabama’s victory over Tennessee in October.
“I jammed my shoulder when I was diving for the pylon against Tennessee,” he said. “Structurally, there was never anything wrong, but since then I’ve been fighting a sore shoulder that just got more tired each week.”
While he has always wanted to play in the Senior Bowl in front of a home crowd, McCarron followed the advice of Alabama team doctors who recommended he heal, rather than chance any further injury.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Senior Bowl in my hometown,” McCarron told the Alabama Media Group. “But my body was banged up during the year. I wanted to push through it and finish out the year for my teammates.
“When it came time to decide, I asked the advice of our team doctors, who are some of the best in the country. They said I should stay out of the game and get my body back to 100 percent healthy.”
Nick Saban also offered guidance to the quarterback.
“Coach Saban and I sat down and talked about it right before the bowl game,” McCarron said. “He told me you have to make a business decision. It’s only the right decision.”
The 2014 NFL Draft has a deep quarterback class and, despite his college success, McCarron is currently not considered a first-round lock. From a business standpoint, it appears that he feels being fresh entering the NFL Combine is more important than participating in an exhibition all star game. McCarron displayed all season how well he performs while injured; it’s time to showcase himself while healthy.