The Alabama Crimson Tide seems to be dealing with the injury bug just over two weeks before the season is to open against Utah State in Tuscaloosa on September 3. First, Khyree Jackson went down with a minor groin injury, then Eli Ricks with a back injury. These are two players who are currently projected to make a difference this upcoming season.
Although it was later stated that these injuries were not serious, it still brings some cause for concern. Groin and back-related injuries can be known to stick around, especially if not given the full time to heal by being rushed back to play. It is still hopeful the two will make it back before the fall practice concludes.
Depth of the Tide’s Secondary Is Undeniable
According to Ourlads, three out of the five projected starters are seniors. These three are Jordan Battle, Demarcco Hellams and Jackson. The other two are Junior Brian Branch and sophomore Kool-Aid McKinstry.
The Tide have so far avoided any season-ending injuries amongst the team and the further they can avoid them the better. In a long and grueling season the chances they will advance to the playoff and eventually compete for another national championship in January is paramount on avoiding these types of injuries.
Update on Ricks & Jackson’s Injuries
Although Jackson and Ricks were injured recently, they thankfully did not sound like a serious issue. On the other, hand head coach Nick Saban felt there were issues elsewhere with Ricks, the transfer from Louisiana State.
“He hasn’t been able to practice since the scrimmage. He’s got a little back problem,” Saban addressed to the press following Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to keep him out for a long time. Until he gets out there on the field and he continues to make progress, I can’t really comment on that. I was not disappointed in the way he played in the scrimmage. I think there’s a lot of competition at that position, and I can’t tell you who would be the starting corners at this point.”
Saban made it clear he has not come to a final decision on who will start where in much of the secondary so minor setbacks like this close to the season can be annoying. Ricks, who only played six games in 2021 after a shoulder injury has shown his capability when on the field. For Jackson, 2021 was filled with reserve roles but played consistently enough to get on Saban’s good side heading into this year.
It is important to remember that even a groin or back injury not tended to carefully could result in lengthy amounts of time on the sideline. Since none of these three injuries are known to be threatening their playing time during the season, a thorough recovery could be the difference in making sure it does not reappear during the 2022 campaign. At the end of the day, the Tide still boasts arguably one of the best secondary’s in all of college football.