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WATCH: Alabama players ‘heartbroken’ over Tua Tagovailoa’s injury

Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones is the next man up and the team has rallied around him; however, players were ‘heartbroken’ upon hearing the extent of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Shyheim Carter were both made available for interviews on Monday. 

RELATED: WATCH: Nick Saban gets very emotional in talking Tua Tagovailoa’s injury

Wills, who enrolled in the Crimson Tide’s 2017 recruiting class with Tagovailoa, said the junior quarterback is a ‘brother’ to him and that he has a ‘great soul.’  

Jedrick Wills says Tua Tagovailoa has a 'great soul,' and the team leadership must step up

“It is a horrible thing for anyone to go through,” Wills said of Tagovailoa’s injury. “Especially, for a player in his position. We have the whole college football community behind him. We have the whole Roll Tide behind him. We are going to push him throughout this process and just pray for a speedy recovery. He’s one of the coolest people I have ever met… Just a great human.” 

When it came to Carter, the senior defensive back was at a loss for words. 

Shyheim Carter 'heartbroken' over Tagovailoa's injury, but knows he'll bounce back

“It hurts to hear this,” Carter said. “I know Tua personally, so I know he will bounce back and I was very glad to hear that he will be able to make a full recovery. That was exciting to hear.” 

From everyone in Alabama’s camp and those who watched the injury from home, it was a freak incident. In these situations, Carter said you just have to take it on the chin and keep rolling. 

Despite the hurt on everyone’s face, Alabama still has two games left on its regular season schedule and Jones has to carry it. He played well versus Arkansas in a 48-7 victory, so the program knows he is capable.

The players around him are highly confident in his abilities, but they also know that all the leaders must emerge. The guys are playing for something bigger than themselves; this team is playing for someone who truly embodied the “Bama factor.” 

Alabama will not practice on Monday, but the team will return to work on Tuesday to prepare for Western Carolina.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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