It ended the season opener with rough news after a win over Florida State, and now three business days from a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance, the University of Alabama football program has been hit with more troubling information.
Sophomore linebacker Anfernee Jennings, who sustained a knee injury in Monday’s matchup with Clemson for the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced on Twitter that he will not play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta next week versus the Georgia Bulldogs.
He suffered the mishap in the second half, despite a monster performance.
Behind Jennings, Alabama held the Tigers to 64 yards rushing and 188 total yards. He was credited with one of the team’s five sacks, while totaling five tackles (four solo) with three coming for loss of yardage.
The 6-foot-3, 262-pounder accounted for one of the biggest moments, when he pressured Clemson’s quarterback Kelly Bryant into a poor throw that junior defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne intercepted in the third quarter.
Jennings’ aggressiveness and speed on the edge led to sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts finding Payne in the end zone for a critical touchdown.
With him out, Alabama turns to Terrell Lewis or Jamey Mosley at the jack linebacker position. Despite missing 10 games (excluding FSU and Auburn), Lewis and Miller both played on Monday and made an impact. Mosley, a redshirt junior, has seen action in 12 games and chimes in with 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and two quarterback hurries.
Not having Jennings puts the Tide at a disadvantage versus Georgia’s rushing attack; however, this team has played with a next man up mindset all year.
A safe recovery is the prayer from Tide fans to Jennings, but head coach Nick Saban is fixated on national title No. 6 next Monday.