Aggies' Max Johnson Has More Serious Injury Than Revealed; Bama QB Bryce Young's Status To Be 'Game-Time Decision,' Nick Saban Says

Texas A&M quarterback Max Johnson has a broken bone in his throwing hand and will miss the game at Alabama Saturday and perhaps the entire season, an ESPN Radio report by Ian Fitzsimmons said Thursday.

Johnson's father, former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson, confirmed the injury to OutKick later Thursday, but added that his son has not been told that his season is over.

"No one has told Max he is out for the season," Johnson told OutKick. "Not sure of everything that has been said or reported."


Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has said repeatedly this week that Johnson, a junior who transferred to A&M after starting the 2021 season at LSU, is day-to-day with a thumb injury suffered in the 42-24 loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. Sophomore Haynes King replaced Johnson at Mississippi State and is expected to start for the Aggies (3-2, 1-1 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) on Saturday (8 p.m., CBS).

"Same thing," Fisher said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference when asked how Johnson was progressing with the thumb injury. "We're going day-to-day with him each and every day, and it'll get better each day, hopefully."

King beat out Johnson to be the starter to open this season. But Johnson became the starter for the last three games after the Aggies and King were upset by 19-point underdog Appalachian State, 17-14, on Sept. 10 in the second game of the season.


Fisher said true freshman Conner Weigman, the No. 1 dual threat quarterback in the nation in the 2021-22 recruting year from Cypress, Texas, could also play against Alabama.

"They compete every day. The best player will play," Fisher said Monday. "Conner can play. We can put him in right now. I mean, he would be very comfortable. He'll have a great week of practice, hopefully, and be ready to play.

In other SEC quarterback injury news, whether or not Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (shoulder sprain) plays Saturday against Texas A&M will not be known until game day.

"It will be a game-time decision," Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday night on his radio show.

Young hurt his shoulder in the second quarter of the win at Arkansas Saturday while trying to throw a pass shortly before hitting the ground under pressure, and he landed awkwardly.


Meanwhile, Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson practiced "a little bit" Wednesday and Thursday after missing on Monday and Tuesday because of a concussion. He remains questionable for the Razorbacks' game at No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday (Noon, SEC Network).

How he feels Friday as well as Saturday leading up to kickoff will be key.

"I don't know how much that (a little practice) means to be perfectly honest with you," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said on his radio show Wednesday night. "He still has a ways to go."

Jefferson hit his head on the ground late in the Razorbacks' home loss to Alabama on Saturday, returned for one play, then left for good.

"We're certainly not going to play him unless he's capable and healthy and all those things," Pittman said. "We're going to take him on the trip. Whether he plays or not is still waiting to be seen. We've got a few more days to figure that out."

Senior walk-on Cade Fortin, a transfer from South Florida, is expected to start for Arkansas (3-2, 1-2 SEC) if Jefferson cannot play against State (4-1, 1-1 SEC). Pittman also said sophomore Malik Hornsby could play.

Fortin completed 4 of 10 passes for 35 yards against Alabama and rushed once for a 9-yard gain in his only action this season. Hornsby has rushed three times for 21 yards on the year.

Jefferson, a junior who threw for 2,676 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, has already thrown for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception this season. He is also Arkansas' No. 2 rusher with 312 net yards on 81 carries.

"We don't have a clue whether he (Jefferson) is going to play or not," Pittman said. "He practiced a little bit, but we don't know. A lot goes into that. The No. 1 concern is his health. I want an answer, too. Sometimes we read into answers what we want. I'm telling you the truth."

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Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.