TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama junior safety Vinnie Sunseri will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with a torn knee ligament, the Anniston Star has learned.
A source close to the situation said Sunseri tore a ligament in his left knee. Sunseri underwent an MRI on Sunday to gauge the extent of the damage.
An athletics department spokesman declined to confirm or deny the news. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban generally provides injury updates during his Monday news conference.
Sunseri went down with the injury on kickoff coverage in the first quarter of the Tide’s 52-0 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. He walked off the field with little assistance and laid briefly on the training table before heading to the locker room.
He did not return to the game, but returned to the sideline in street clothes without crutches and received hugs from his teammates. Following the game, Saban said that “it could be serious” when discussing Sunseri’s injury.
Through seven games, Sunseri is seventh on the team with 20 total tackles including a tackle for loss. He had two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns.
Sunseri is one of the veteran leaders in the secondary and for the entire team.
“Vinnie, from a character standpoint as a person, is one of the best guys I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach,” Saban said after the game. “He’s a great person that tries to do everything right. He’s a hard worker. He sets a great example. He has really good leadership skills that affects other people in a positive way. The guy is just a great competitor.”
With HaHa Clinton-Dix back from suspension at free safety, Landon Collins and Jarrick Williams are expected to fill in for Sunseri at strong safety.
“He’s going to be apart of our team whether he can play or not because I know he’s that kind of guy,” Saban said after the game.