There’s not another player in the SEC who’s had worse luck in the injury department than Auburn safety Aairon Savage.
Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant would be a close second. But with Savage going down for a third straight year this past Saturday in the Tigers’ 65-43 win over Arkansas, you can’t help but hurt for the guy.
He’s been the essence of resiliency, fighting back every time he was injured.
You’re talking about a guy who had to get a waiver from the NCAA just to get a sixth season this year.
He hadn’t played in two seasons. He tore his Achilles last year and tore an ACL in 2008.
But he didn’t give up hope and started the first six games this season.
So seeing him crumple to the ground in the fourth quarter Saturday brought a hush over a Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd who knew how feverishly Savage had worked just to be able to come back and play football again.
Now, he’s out again, possibly for the season after undergoing surgery Monday for an undisclosed injury to his right leg/ankle.
As big as the win was Saturday, Auburn coach Gene Chizik was clearly shaken about Savage’s situation.
“Seeing him [Saturday night] and talking to him [Sunday], the only thing I can say is your heart goes out to him, just what he’s been through,” Chizik said. “But he's a tough guy, and he will move past this like he has all the other things.
“That one was a hard one to look at.”
Even on a team where everything has gone so right this season, it’s a reminder that there can be a very steep price sometimes for playing this game.