Tagovailoa, long touted as a potential top pick in next year's NFL Draft, was injured late in the first half when he was tackled by two Mississippi State players while scrambling toward the sideline. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and later flown by helicopter to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala.
“He is undergoing further testing to determine the best course of treatment,” Alabama team orthopedic surgeon Lyle Cain said in a statement. “He is expected to make a full recovery but will miss the remainder of the season.”
Tagovailoa underwent surgery on a sprained right ankle 27 days ago after injuring it against Tennessee on Oct. 19. He missed the second half of that game as well as the Tide's 48-7 win over Arkansas the following week. He returned last week against LSU, throwing four touchdowns and an interception in a 46-41 loss to the Tigers.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said the plan was to remove Tagovailoa from the game before the series when the quarterback was injured. Alabama was leading 35-7, but it was decided to let Tagovailoa play one more possession to get some work in the two-minute drill.
“We can second guess ourselves all we want,” Saban said after the game. “We told [backup quarterback] Mac [Jones] to warm up and we were going to go two-minute before the half. Tua wanted to play in the game and so I don’t really make a lot of decisions worrying if a guy is going to get hurt.”
Tagovailoa was 14 of 18 for 256 yards and two touchdown passes against Mississippi State, giving him 31 TD passes on the season. He was replaced by Jones, who went 7 for 11 for 94 yards.
Alabama entered this week ranked fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia. Alabama faces FCS program Western Carolina next week before wrapping up their regular season against in-state rival Auburn.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.