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A.J. Brown may be out for Ole Miss against Alabama. That’s not good

What do you do when your best player is out against your best opponent?

NCAA Football: Mississippi at California
When you sprain your MCL.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

That picture right there is a photograph of Ole Miss Superman wide receiver A.J. Brown incurring an MCL strain at the hands of Cal’s stupid secondary on Saturday night. Up until this moment, A.J. hadn’t been targeted by Shea Patterson yet. This was his lone target on the night, and he dropped the pass and got injured in the process. If there’s a more appropriate and microcosmic image from the Cal game, you’d be hard-pressed to find it.

A.J. will be out one to two weeks with this knee injury, according to head coach Matt Luke. Ole Miss’ offense without him was anemic on Saturday against Cal. The sad, horrid thing about these sorts of knee bangs is that they have a tendency to linger. He’s got to go up against #ROLLTIDE’s secondary in two weeks, and the body-blow theory is real. This could be a nagging pain for the remainder of the season, and that ain’t good.

Ole Miss may thus lose 195 receiving and two touchdowns per game. That’s a significant amount of offensive production, which was best in the country until Saturday night happened.

The even worse part of this is the possible loss of the Rebs’ starting center Sean Rawlings. As a quarterback, you put your trust into one guy to call out rush schemes and such. Now Rawlings isn’t there. What is Shea left with, then? A second-stringer who can maybe recognize what the Tide’s doing on any given play, never mind the fact that they blitz NFL-style and just wreck the shit out of you otherwise. That’s great.

We know nothing about kicker Gary Wunderlich’s condition, so Ole Miss’ field goal and extra point game remains fully in the mud. A.J. was statistically the best receiver in the country as of Saturday afternoon, Shea enjoyed a joyously experienced center, and Ole Miss had one of the best kickers in the game. All three may be done for Alabama, which, frankly, is depressing. Now all three are question marks.

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