Everyone knew Minkah Fitzpatrick injured his kidney in the first quarter of Alabama’s College Football Playoff semifinal victory over Clemson.
He was taken to the hospital the next day, but guaranteed ESPN that he would be okay to play in the national title game, claiming he was more upset some personal medical information was leaked.
Thursday during the first hour of the Paul Finebaum Show, Fitzpatrick opened up about how much pain he was truly enduring.
“I was hurting,” he told Finebaum. “I had bruised my kidney real bad in the week before. I couldn’t practice a whole lot. I could barely even stand during that week of practice. I had to lay down during practice until Saturday was the only day I could really practice. I had to practice. It was tough. I had to fight through it. After the game I went right to sleep, didn’t do too much. I was real beat up, tired, but it was definitely worth it for sure.”
He finished the title game with 5 tackles, and Finebaum asked how he even made it through. It might even explain why he was in the bathroom for the final game-winning play.
“I was just thinking about winning that game,” Fitzpatrick said. ” It was a tough season. I had previously got hurt in my hamstring and I was just fighting through that and I wasn’t going to give up on the last game of the season, the most important game of the season, the championship game. My team needed me out there to make plays, make some calls and do what we had to do. I couldn’t not be out there with my teammates. I had thought about not playing but after a little while I was just like I can’t not be out there with my boys.”
He was likely referring to the hamstring injury which pushed him out of the Crimson Tide’s game against LSU.
No doubt one team will absolutely take a chance on him in the upcoming NFL draft, and perhaps even in the top-5 picks. The Thorpe Award winner totaled 171 tackles and 9 interceptions during his three seasons with Alabama.