Jalston Fowler is most likely out for the season, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Monday.
The running back/fullback/H-back hurt his left knee in the fourth quarter of the Tide’s 35-0 win over Western Kentucky Saturday and was carted off the field. He was grimacing and had tears in his eyes as he headed to the locker room. Saban did not go in depth about the injury, but said Fowler will have surgery this week and could miss the rest of the year.
“Jalston’s been a great player in the program,” Saban said. “A great special teams guy, a great backup player for us and a really good attitude guy and has lots of character. A really good competitor. I know he feels badly. We feel badly, too, for him that he can’t be a part and be able to contribute to our team this year.”
The 6-foot-1, 242 pounder was a load in the backfield, blocking and on special teams, and Saban said it’s going to take a “number of people” to replace him in all those different roles.
“It’s going to be real tough,” said linebacker Nico Johnson. “He’s more like a back like Trent [Richardson]. He can run, catch out of the backfield and he’s tough to tackle. So it’s going to be real tough, but we still got enough guys, enough depth to replace him…somebody has to step up and handle his role.”
Fowler, Alabama’s third running back behind Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, had 91 yards on 12 touches in the Tide’s two games this year. Last season, behind Richardson and Lacy, Fowler had 56 carries for 385 yards.
Saban said that with this loss, Dee Hart and Kenyan Drake—who scored his first touchdown on Saturday—will get more opportunities at running back, and Kelly Johnson will see more time at fullback.
“We’re gonna miss him,” Saban said.
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