Big, if true.
According to al.com, Josh Jacobs sustained an ankle injury in Alabama’s mid-October win over Tennessee but was medically cleared to play in the Nov. 4 win over LSU coming off a bye weekend. According to the running back, however, he had been playing on a “broke (sic) ankle” since Week 5, which would’be been the Sept. 30 matchup with Ole Miss.
The true sophomore made the revelation in a tweet confirming that he is undergoing surgery Friday to repair whatever damage he sustained to his ankle.
Whether it was actually broken or “broke” as in really, really injured is unclear at the moment. Jacobs also dealt with a hamstring issue that hampered him throughout the 2017 season.
Despite the injury issues, the four-star 2016 back ran for 284 yards and a touchdown on 46 carries this season; he recorded at least one carry in eight of the nine games he played in after Week 5. He also caught 14 passes coming out of the backfield for another 168 yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns.
We already knew that wide receiver Calvin Ridley, running back Bo Scarbrough and defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne would be leaving Alabama early, while running back Damien Harris had opted to stay. Thursday, we learned the fate of other draft-eligible Crimson Tide football players.
At what’s become an annual press conference, head coach Nick Saban confirmed that defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison will be leaving the Crimson Tide as well and declaring for the NFL draft. Fitzpatrick is a first-round lock and could be one of the first five taken in the April draft, while Harrison was given a second-round grade.
Fitzpatrick was one of 14 unanimous All-Americans for the 2017 season, and won both the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bednarik Awards. The multi-talented junior became the third player to claim both awards in the same season, joining Michigan’s Charles Woodson and LSU’s Patrick Peterson.
He also missed the game-winning play in the national championship game because he was using the bathroom.
Harrison was a second-team All-SEC selection in his second season as a starter for the Crimson Tide.
Isaiah Buggs was not at the postseason press conference and Saban did not mention that the defensive lineman was part of the group exiting early. That seemingly means that Buggs will join Harris as draft-eligible players who will return to Tuscaloosa.
It’s not expected that the Tide will lose any additional players, although the official deadline for declaring their intentions to the NFL is Jan. 15.
I can’t tell you how many times I have missed something of note because I was “indisposed” in a bathroom, most notably for the birth of one of my kids (true story). As it turns out, one member of the Alabama Crimson Tide can feel my pain.
In one of the wildest championship games ever, Alabama stormed back from a 13-0 halftime deficit to claim both a 26-23 overtime win over Georgia and the 2017 College Football Playoff title. Facing a second and 26 on the first possession of overtime, true freshman Tua Tagovailoa found a streaking Devonta Smith from 41 yards out to give head coach Nick Saban his record-tying sixth national championship.
The walk-off touchdown in overtime was the first of its kind in the CFP/BCS era, and Minkah Fitzpatrick missed the historic moment. Because he was using the toilet.
“I was going to the bathroom on the sideline (in a porta potty),” Fitzpatrick said during a radio interview Wednesday morning by way of al.com. “I could tell which side was the Alabama side. Alabama’s side was the left of our team and Georgia was to the right of the team. The left side started cheering I knew it was us and we got the first down or we scored a touchdown. It was the right side, it was Georgia and I would have to go out on the field and go back on defense. That’s how I knew what was going on.”
Hey, when you gotta go you gotta go… regardless of the stakes.
Just when it looked like it’d be two, it appears as though Alabama may lose just one running back to early-entry this year.
Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that running back Bo Scarbrough, along with teammate and wide receiver Calvin Ridley, had decided to leave Alabama for the NFL draft. Now, al.com is reporting that Damien Harris has decided to bypass the NFL draft and instead return to the Crimson Tide for his senior season.
Harris’ decision to return comes as somewhat of a surprise, especially given the amount of returning and incoming talent in what’s a loaded backfield. Najee Harris, who ran for 370 yards as a true freshman, is expected to grab a larger share of the running-game load in 2018.
The past two seasons, Harris has led the Tide in rushing, an even 1,000 during the run to the 2017 national championship and 1,040 in 2016. His 11 rushing touchdowns were tops om the team this year as well.
As it turns out, the gang won’t all be back together when Alabama shoots for back-to-back championships.
While neither the football program nor the players have confirmed it, al.com, citing unnamed sources, is reporting that wide receiver Calvin Ridley and running back Bo Scarbrough are leaving for the April NFL draft. Alabama’s policy has been to hold a press conference to announce the NFL decisions of its draft-eligible players; that event is expected to happen at some point this week as the deadline for early entry is Monday, Jan. 15.
Ridley is expected to be one of the first, if not the first, receivers taken in the upcoming draft and is viewed as a first-round lock. Scarbrough is part of a deep stable of four- and five-star backs, so his apparent decision to move on is far from surprising.
Ridley led the Crimson Tide in receiving each of the past two seasons. In UA’s run to the 2017 national title, he was easily the Tide’s leading receiver with 63 catches and 967 yards; Scarbrough was next-closest in receptions with 17, Jerry Jeudy in yards with 264. Ridley’s five touchdown catches were second to Henry Ruggs‘ six.
In three seasons, Ridley totaled 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns on 224 catches in what was a run-heavy offense.
Scarbrough was third on the Tide in rushing each of the past two seasons, including 596 this past year. All told, he’ll finish his collegiate career with 1,512 yards and 20 touchdowns.
UPDATED 1:24 p.m. ET: So, of course, almost as soon as I hit “PUBLISH” on this post, Ridley confirmed via Twitter that he is leaving Tuscaloosa early.