Former Alabama star AJ McCarron made 40 consecutive starts as the Crimson Tide's quarterback over the last three seasons, but whether or not he should have played through injuries during his streak became a hot social media topic following a McCarron radio interview after he was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the NFL draft.
Soon after the radio interview, McCarron defended his comments with a series of tweets.
First, McCarron's radio remarks:
"A lot of people don't realize I wasn't healthy at Alabama. 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," McCarron said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. "I played through a lot, but just always tried to fight through for my teammates, and my team, and the University of Alabama."
It's important to note McCarron never said he should have been on the sidelines for health reasons at any point, but he certainly opened the door for speculation on the matter, and his Twitter follow-ups were an effort to close the topic without Saban or Alabama drawing any fire about the pain he played through for the Crimson Tide:
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..â 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 soâ 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 #RTRâ AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) May 12, 2014
McCarron has been known to take pokes at the media and what it has done to shape perception of him. But he shaped this little brushfire all on his own. The obvious inference that a reasonable person would draw from McCarron's radio comments is that he believes he could have played better at Alabama were it not for his various injuries.
It's not too much of a leap, then, for people to wonder if he should have always played.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.