Quarterback AJ McCarron fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft after being projected as a second- or third-round pick. McCarron believes he could have gone higher, except for all the nagging injuries he suffered at Alabama that nobody knew about, per the Sporting News.
"A lot of people don't realize I wasn't healthy at Alabama," McCarron said. "I sacrificed a lot to play for coach Saban and that university; I played through a lot of injuries and we never leaked it because that's just the way it is.
"I've played through a lot, just try to fight through for my teammates and my team."
The NFL's Easy Narrative
The NFL's Easy Narrative
McCarron never missed time while with the Crimson Tide, winning a pair of national championships and becoming one of the most celebrated signal-callers in school history alongside Kenny Stabler, Joe Namath and ... Greg McElroy. Still, he feels that he never reached his true potential while in college, something Marvin Lewis and the Bengals are hoping is true.
Although McCarron didn't show up on official injury reports often while in Tuscaloosa, rumors of injuries followed him through his junior and senior seasons. Reports emerged midway through the 2012 national championship campaign that he was playing through a meniscus tear in his knee. He said last March that he played the final six games of that season with three ribs that "kept popping in and out of place." He dealt with foot issues during fall camp heading into the 2013 season, and was photographed wearing a walking boot just before the opener against Virginia Tech.
After making the comments above to the Sporting News, McCarron received criticism on Twitter and fired back.
I never said I didn't love my time at Bama I said myself & other guys played through a lot of injuries for our great university & for fans..— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) May 12, 2014
People need to understand I wasn't bashing anybody at all or coach. He's like a dad to me all I was saying was us as players give a lot so— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) May 12, 2014
To hear people make up rumors ab you that aren't true. That's what sucks when you sacrificed so much for your team & university while there!— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) May 12, 2014
Y'all stop reading so much into this media bull.. I love Bama & always will. Roll Tide for life. Love my fans and ex-teammates/brothers #RTR— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) May 12, 2014
For now, McCarron comes in to be the backup to starter Andy Dalton, who has one year remaining on his rookie contract. The Bengals and Dalton have been in negotiations, but no deal has been reached.