Tide's Eddie Jackson suffers knee injury

Sophomore will require surgery

Anniston StarApril 7, 2014 

MFB

Defensive back Eddie Jackson, left, suffered a knee injury during a scrimmage Saturday. Photo by Kent Gidley

KENT GIDLEY — KG

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban confirmed that defensive back Eddie Jackson's knee injury will require surgery.

Jackson suffered the injury Saturday during the Crimson Tide's first scrimmage of the spring.

"Eddie Jackson had an MRI Sunday which confirmed that he had ligament damage in his knee that required surgery," Saban said in a statement released by the university. "We have a great medical staff here and he will have the full support of everyone in the organization as he goes through the rehab process. We are confident Eddie will make a full recovery and be ready to go this fall."

Jackson's injury is believed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, according to an ESPN.com report. Saban's statement didn't clarify the severity of Jackson's injury, and the coach didn't comment further.

Jackson, a rising sophomore, went down in a "non-contact" situation during the Tide's scrimmage.

"I may bend but won't break, minor setback for a major comeback," Jackson said in a Twitter post Sunday night.

Saban said Jackson "just jumped up in the air for the ball and came down funny."

He added Jackson was "having a great spring and probably our best corner, most consistent."

Jackson played in seven games and make four starts last season at cornerback. He totaled 19 tackles including one for loss. He also had one interception and two fumble recoveries. He was a four-star prospect in the 2013 recruiting cycle according ESPN.com and 247Sports.

"Eddie is a real talented corner," Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper said. "For the spring, other guys have to step up because he was a starter."

Linebacker Reggie Ragland said it's tough seeing Jackson go down because "we're losing a brother and a teammate," but added that the Tide has guys "that can come in and play the same way he did."

Junior Bradley Sylve has lined up opposite Jackson with the first defensive group. Saban said Sylve has had "a really good spring and is doing a good job." Sylve played in eight games and made three starts last year, but battled an ankle injury during the second half of the season. He finished with 10 tackles and two pass deflections.

Junior Cyrus Jones is expected to fill Jackson's spot going forward. Jones is the Tide's most experienced returning cornerbacks having played in 11 games with five starts last season. He totaled 25 tackles including one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Jones also had two interceptions and seven pass deflections.

During the media's viewing period of practice on Monday, Sylve and Jackson led the cornerbacks through drills. They were also the cornerbacks with the first group when Alabama worked on its nickel defense.

Behind them were freshman Tony Brown and redshirt freshman Anthony Averett. There's also sophomore Maurice Smith, who has worked exclusively at the "star" position during the media's viewing period.

Each player was rated as a four-star recruit or higher during their respective recruiting cycle, but there is very little experience to go along with the talent.

Luckily for Alabama, there are six more spring practices left along with nearly five months before the season kicks off.

"We've just got to keep working and developing depth," Saban said Saturday. "Feel like have a few more guys that have a good understanding of what we're doing. We just seem to not be making as many mental errors as we have in the past at this time."

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