The Alabama Crimson Tide suffered a blow on Saturday against the Auburn Tigers, despite the obvious scoreboard factor. The team’s second leading receiver, Kenny Bell, suffered a broken leg in the game, not even midway through the second quarter with Alabama already up 21-0.
Aside from his 431 yards on the year, Bell has a team-best 25.4 yards-per-catch average. The Tide haven’t needed to rely on Bell as much since their running game has been able to successfully dominate the opposition in most games this year. But the loss of Bell takes away a major receiving playmaker, and it’s the danger of Alabama being a one-trick pony that has head coach Nick Saban looking at his options.
Enter true freshman Chris Black. The wide receiver out of Jacksonville, Fla. hasn’t played a snap this season and is currently wearing a redshirt. The plan was to have him sit out this season, but with the loss of Bell, Saban has certainly opened the door to the possibility of playing Black saying he’s been ”cleared medically to maybe come back and play.”
His statement was made at the SEC Championship coaches teleconference on Sunday. Among other things, he said the option of playing Black will be “revisited.”
Black is a four-star recruit who had three catches for 61 yards in Alabama’s spring scrimmage. He’s only been practicing since the beginning of November after a shoulder injury kept him out. Otherwise, Saban has said that Black would have been the second receiver on the depth chart in any particular position this season.
“That’s always a difficult circumstance but we have some other really good players who have played consistently for us this year. We’re going to try to put them in the best position where they have the best opportunity to utilize the skills they have and hopefully make some plays for us. A.J. [McCarron] has done a nice job of getting the ball to the right guy. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do that.”
On top of the loss of Bell, the wide receiving corps has had to deal with the loss of DeAndrew White since his September injury against the Ole Miss Rebels. Playing Black wasn’t one of the cards that Saban was hoping to play in this game, but if it means winning another BCS National Championship, he’ll certainly be ready to pull out all the stops.