Alabama’s strive for a third consecutive national championship may have just gotten a bit more difficult. Starting safety Vinnie Sunseri left the Tide’s 52-0 win over Arkansas with a knee injury.
While the extent is not exactly known at this point, the Associated Press reports that coach Nick Saban believes Sunseri’s injury “could be serious.”
Sunseri currently sits at No. 6 on the team with 20 tackles on the year. He returned an interception for a score against both Virginia Tech and Texas A&M.
While Sunseri may be lost, there is good news in the return of fellow safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from suspension – he tallied five total tackles and one interception in Sunseri’s absence against Arkansas. Clinton-Dix will man one spot, while sophomore Landon Collins is expected to fill in for Sunseri until – if and when – he returns this season.
Alabama will need all the help it can get in the upcoming weeks. They face a resurgent Tennessee squad next and then the always-brutal rivalry game against LSU in Week 10.
*Update* Oct. 21, 12:05 p.m. EST
According to the Anniston Star, Sunseri has, in fact, been lost for the year. A source close to the situation reported that an MRI revealed a torn ligament in Sunseri’s left knee.
Expect further updates on Sunseri’s injury situation as Monday progresses. Alabama has yet to either confirm or deny the report of a season-ending tear, because coach Nick Saban generally breaks down the injury report during his Monday afternoon press conference.
*Update* Oct. 21, 1:19 p.m. EST
What had been rumored was finally confirmed during Saban’s Monday afternoon press conference: Vinnie Sunseri has been lost for the year with a torn ACL.
Saban confirms Sunseri out for year. Surgery for ACL tomorrow. Landon Collins will move into that position.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) October 21, 2013
Vinnie Sunseri's surgery to repair a torn ACL is Tuesday. Sunseri might resume activities in four months. Is NFL Draft eligible. #Bama
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) October 21, 2013