For the second year in a row South Carolina will have to play their remaining games without superstar running back Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is all but certainly done for the year after suffering a gruesome leg injury in the first half of the Gamecocks’ 38-35 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
Lattimore’s injury immediately drew comparisons to the infamous Joe Theismann career ending injury suffered on Monday Night Football in 1985. Lattimore was running to his left when he was tackled by Vols’ defensive back Eric Gordon. Immediately it was obvious that there was a serious injury–it looked as if Lattimore’s right leg collapsed. The leg was clearly dislocated and whipping around as he hit the ground.
Initial reports suggest that, at the very least, it may not be ‘worst case scenario’. Lattimore was taken to the hospital and as of this post there has been no official statement regarding his injury from the University of South Carolina or its coaches. Rumors are circulating that it is a broken tibia–a season ending injury to be sure but one that Lattimore should be able to recover from. He missed the end of last season after rupturing the ACL in his left knee. Fortunately it’s not the same leg–and hopefully there’s no structural damage to Lattimore’s right knee.
For now, however, it is a jarring end to what had been an impressive season for Lattimore and the Gamecocks. Lattimore and his mother reportedly embraced and cried for about five minutes after he left the field and before he was taken to the hospital. Credit to the rest of the Gamecocks–they haven’t always been the mentally toughest team over the years but they showed a lot of stones with the way they competed and eventually won the game after the loss of the popular Lattimore.
Special mention to the University of Tennessee’s defensive players, many of whom were trying to console Lattimore and wish him well as he was being carted off the field. There’s talk that Vols’ head coach Derek Dooley is on the ‘hot seat’ after a couple of disappointing seasons but if this is the type of class he is instilling in his athletes clearly he is succeeding on levels that transcend the sport of football.
Here’s the video of Lattimore’s injury–it’s nasty so don’t say we didn’t warn you: