Following Alabama’s overtime escape on the road in Baton Rouge, Nick Saban didn’t seem overly concerned about the fourth-quarter injury sustained by top running back T.J. Yeldon.
The day before a huge showdown dripping with conference and playoff implications, that remains the theme.
During his Thursday radio show, Saban said that the running back has “been able to practice at least maybe 75-80 percent the last couple of days” despite a sprained ankle. While Saban did say he expected Yeldon to play against No. 1 Mississippi State Saturday, the head coach did allow that the back may not have 100 percent of his usual burst.
“I think he’ll be able to play in the game. How explosive he’ll be in the game remains to be seen,” Saban said. “The kind of injury he has is something you can play with but if he practices too much, it really aggravates him. We just try to practice him enough so he’s ready to play. He’s certainly had a great season for us.”
While Yeldon leads the team with 686 yards rushing, the Tide’s certainly not a one-man backfield. Should Saban/offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin look to limit Yeldon’s carries, or if the junior aggravates the injury, Derrick Henry is more than capable of shouldering more of the load.
Through nine games, Henry is second behind Yeldon with 554 yards on the ground.
“We have total confidence in him as a player,” Saban said of Henry.