- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The wear and tear of fall camp caught up with the University of Alabama on Saturday, as coach Nick Saban announced that starting running back Eddie Lacy is day-to-day with a sprained ankle and knee.
"Eddie sprained his ankle and his knee a little bit," Saban said after Saturday's scrimmage. "It's not a serious thing. He's probably going to be day-to-day and probably be a little bit slow next week, but I think in 5-6 days he'll be ready to go."
Lacy missed all of spring practice recovering from surgery to resolve his season-long battle with turf toe. The junior running back played 12 games last season, racking up 694 yards and 7 touchdowns on 95 carries. He finished in the top 15 nationally in yards per carry.
With Trent Richardson gone to the NFL, Lacy figures to be the starting running back when the season opens against Michigan. Junior Jalston Fowler is the No. 2 back in front of freshmen Dee Hart, T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake.
The news of Lacy's sprain comes on the heels of another injury to freshman standout Amari Cooper, who is day-to-day with a toe injury. The 6-foot-1 wide receiver has drawn rave reviews from the coaching staff since enrolling in February and figures to play a role in the wide receiver rotation right away.
"It's not a bad thing," Saban said. "He's probably going to be day-to-day when we start the week next week. It may be a few days before he can get back out there."
The Crimson Tide have dealt with a number of injuries in recent weeks. Freshman receiver Chris Black injured his shoulder on Aug. 9 which will keep him out 3-4 months. The top-10 receiver out of high school had surgery earlier this week, which Saban said went well.
Jarrick Williams will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair a torn ACL. Saban said on Saturday that if not for Williams' injury, the junior defensive back would have started at the third cornerback spot, what the head coach calls the money or nickel. Coupled with the loss of Travell Dixon to transfer, depth in the secondary has become an issue.
"Nick Perry has had a really good camp and done a really good job. I think that's critical," Saban said. "I think Landon Collins is developing. Geno Smith is developing. We're going to need those guys. Bradley Sylve has had a good camp and improved a lot.
"We're going to need those young players to come along and play because that's the depth at that position. When we play five and six defensive backs, they need to understand what to do to go out there and play and do the things they need to do. They'll improve. We've had to play freshmen around here before, and I think we have some really good freshmen in this class. It depends on how quickly they develop."
Backup center Ryan Kelly also suffered a sprained ankle, but Saban said he expects him to be back at practice on Tuesday.
Alabama's scheduled back-to-back off days beginning Sunday couldn't have come at a better time considering the number of nagging injuries.
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Crimson Tide on Saturday. Saban said he was pleased with how the first-team offense and defense performed, and singled out a few players for praise.
"T.J. [Yeldon] played really well today," he said. "And Kevin Norwood made some big plays and some great catches."
Yeldon rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, according to stats provided by the university. Norwood had three receptions for 76 yards and two scores.
Playing through the rain
Despite playing in poor conditions with rain throughout most of Saturday's scrimmage, Saban said the special teams performed well.
"We did quite a bit, even with it was pouring down rain, we snapped the ball, punted, catching it, field it and return it," he said. "That was really good. We did not have a single play on special teams that was affected by the conditions. Bad snap, dropped snap, we were able to kick field goals and do all the things we needed to do in game situations. I was pleased with the work we got done on special teams today."
4dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough