Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tide injuries open unlikely door for Chris Black

When wide receiver Chris Black injured his shoulder at the “Fan Day” public practice session in early August, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that the highly-touted freshman would be lost for the 2012 season. However, with the SEC championship game just days away, Black “could” make his Crimson Tide debut, on the grandest SEC stage.

Following surgery, and the necessary rehab, Black “quietly” returned to the practice field in early November. Adorning a black non-contact jersey, Black’s return was nothing more than a “feel good” footnote that dotted the end of most every practice report. While Black was indeed back on the field, Tide fans would have to wait until September of 2013 to see him in “real game” action.

And then everything changed…

While the season-ending knee injury to DeAndrew White (in late September) was a big loss, it wasn’t a critical loss. The Crimson Tide continued on with the core group of Amari Cooper, Kenny Bell, Christion Jones, and Kevin Norwood. However, in the second quarter of the contest with Auburn, Kenny Bell broke his tibia. This injury opened the door for Chris Black to play…this season.

When the Tide took the field Monday afternoon, in preparation for Georgia, Black was wearing a white jersey and working with the second-team offense. Cleared for contact and working with an “on-field” unit, rather than the scout team, was, and is, certainly a sign that Black could make his collegiate debut this Saturday.

Alabama beat writer for the Tuscaloosa News

While participating in Saturday’s contest will dissolve his redshirt and reduce his entire freshman season to a mere two games, if the proper channels grant approval, and Black can make a positive impact, then he will most likely play. The Crimson Tide have an “ace in the hole” in respect to Black. Logic would suggest that Georgia could have trouble defending a player they’ve never seen. Black has never played in a college football game, so Georgia has nothing to go on.

If Chris Black plays a vital role in an Alabama victory, removing the redshirt could be a decision that will go down in Crimson Tide football lore.

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