TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- AJ McCarron is OK. Really, he's fine.
"Rumors are rumors," he said. "I feel good, ready to go."
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday that McCarron had a "bruised knee" that was sore but wouldn't keep him from practicing. That day McCarron wore a brace on his knee and participated in all drills. On Tuesday, he did the same.
"Anytime you think something's gone wrong, you're nervous for a minute," McCarron said of going down in the third quarter against Missouri. He had to be helped to the sideline and spent several minutes at the trainer's table before receiving a knee brace and reentering the game. "I trust my trainers, team doctors, to make the right call."
McCarron returned to the game and played for the next three drives.
"I don't like sitting out," McCarron said. "I had to sit out when I was four (years old) from that WaveRunner wreck. That's the only year I've ever missed. I just don't like missing plays."
The erroneous report of McCarron's injury sent a shockwave through the Alabama fan base. McCarron's mom, Dee Dee Bonner, refuted the news via Twitter, questioning the validity of the sources in question.
If there's anyone the Tide can't afford to lose, it's McCarron. The junior is the only quarterback on the roster with a career start. The primary backup, Phillip Ely, is a redshirt freshman with three pass attempts. The man behind him, Blake Sims, converted from quarterback to running back/receiver last year before returning back to quarterback after Phillip Sims transferred to Virginia. When he is in the game, Alabama turns from the pro-style to the read-option.
"It was a little frightening for a minute," Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker said of McCarron's injury, "but I know AJ. He has a lot of heart and he's a hard worker. He's always going to bounce back."
Fluker said McCarron has practiced well this week.
"He looks pretty good," Fluker said. "He's moving around really good and just taking it one day at a time. Other than that, he's fine."