If it appeared that something wasn't right after University of Alabama junior safety Mark Barron moved into position only to watch Terrell Zachery make the reception and race into the end zone for the 70-yard touchdown, it's because Barron was playing with a torn pectoral muscle.
"I couldn't pick my arm up," Barron said following Friday's 28-27 loss to No. 2 Auburn. "I have to get an MRI. They don't know how bad it is."
Barron sustained the injury while trying to swat the ball out of Emory Blake's hands on Auburn's first touchdown, the 36-yard reception with 5:08 remaining in the first half. Under normal circumstances he probably wouldn't have played the second half, but the Crimson Tide was already dangerously thin at position, with walk-on Will Lowery and true freshmen Nick Perry the backups.
Guess that explains it, eh? The injury bug bites again at a very inopportune time for 'Bama, and a big tip of the hat is in order to Barron. That had to be incredibly painful, and given that injury you have to give him credit for playing as well as he did. Most guys, especially ones with the professional future of a guy like Barron, would have just mailed it in and stayed on the sideline. The fact that he played through all of the pain for the final thirty-five minutes says quite a bit about his competitive character
We'll have to see how the severity of this one turns out. I don't claim to be a doctor, but I do know from past experience with NFL players tearing pec muscles they usually end up missing at least several weeks and a lot of them end up being put on injured reserve (i.e. out for the season). Hopefully Barron can play in the bowl game, but with him expected to test the NFL Draft waters, if this was the last we see of him then thanks for all the memories.