And, unfortunately, “gruesome” doesn’t even begin to describe what happened to the right leg of the South Carolina running back.
Late in the second quarter of the Gamecocks’ game with Tennessee, Marcus Lattimore was tackled — cleanly, I might add — at the end of a running play, with his leg from the knee down twisted in a direction it was never meant to go. The video replay showed Lattimore’s kneecap on the side of his leg as the back almost instantaneously began writhing on the ground in excruciating pain.
Lattimore was tended to immediately by USC medical personnel, who place his injured leg in an air cast. As he was being loaded on the cart to be taken in the locker room — and likely a local medical facility — Lattimore was surrounded by the entire Gamecocks team and, in a class move, by the Volunteers as well.
As Lattimore was being carted into the locker room, he had a towel draped over his head and was visibly sobbing according to those in attendance.
It’s the second straight year the talented and well-liked Lattimore has suffered a season-ending injury — this one is unofficial for now as the team has yet to confirm the exact nature of the injury let alone his status for the remainder of the year. In 2011, Lattimore missed the final six games of the season after tearing the ACL in his left leg against Mississippi State.
Not only is this, in all likelihood, a season-ending injury, it could be a career-ending one, at least collegiately, as Lattimore will be eligible for the April 2013 NFL draft.
Lattimore leads the Gamecocks this year in rushing with 597 yards and 10 touchdowns after leading the team in those categories his first two years in Columbia.