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SEC QB Reportedly Injured By Teammate In Bowl Practice Altercation

Mississippi State football's players run onto the field.

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 22: General view of Davis Wade Stadium as members of the Mississippi State Bulldogs take the field for a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores on November 22, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi. Mississippi State won the game 51-0. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

An SEC team is making a surprise change at the quarterback position heading into its bowl game. And it's not for the greatest of reasons.

Mississippi State will reportedly start Tommy Stevens against Louisville in the Music City Bowl on Monday. This is a change in the plans for the Bulldogs.

“We’re starting Garrett (Shrader) because he’s earned the right to be the starter,” head coach Joe Moorhead said last week. “I think he’s 2-2 in the games he’s started, two SEC games. He’s moved the ball well against teams that we haven’t beaten. He’s fully healthy and has the confidence of the team.

“That’s certainly not a knock against Tommy (Stevens). Tommy’s healthy, but – I don’t want to say go with the hot hand – but Garrett’s proven when he’s the starter, that we’ve won football games. Tommy’s going with the twos right now.”

Fast forward to today, and Mississippi State is reportedly starting Stevens, per 247Sports' David H. Murray. There was reportedly a practice "altercation" with Shrader.

The twist was that shortly before the press conference Shrader and a defensive teammate had been in a confrontation stemming from an in-practice contact drill. Their post-practice altercation escalated before other Bulldogs separated them.

The end result was a swollen eye for the quarterback which initially seemed of moderate concern. There was a short walk-through Saturday practice, with Shrader withheld from participation.

Shrader is reportedly expected to heal as early as late January. Neither player involved in the altercation is expected to leave the school or be suspended, either.

Still, it's not ideal news heading into a bowl game.

Mississippi State and Louisville are set to kick off at 4 p.m. E.T. on Monday.