Nick Saban provides Thursday injury update on Jase McClellan

On3 imageby:Charlie Potter11/30/23

Charlie_Potter

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head coach Nick Saban provided an update on starting running back Jase McClellan (foot) in his virtual conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon.

“He’s not been able to do a lot,” said Saban in his final press conference before Saturday’s game. “We’ll see how he does today, where he is. I’d say that we’d have to say he’s probably questionable for the game at this point, but I think it’s probably too early to tell.”

During the celebration after Alabama won the Iron Bowl in thrilling fashion, McClellan was spotted on crutches and with a walking boot on his left foot on the visiting sideline. He exited the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium still in uniform but with a towel over his head. On Sunday, Saban said McClellan “tweaked” a foot injury he has dealt with all year long.

McClellan rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries and caught an 8-yard pass in the Iron Bowl before his exit in the fourth quarter. The senior running back is Alabama’s leading rusher this season with 803 yards and six touchdowns on 166 carries (4.84 ypc). He also leads the Tide running back room with 13 catches for 126 yards through 12 regular-season games.

Running back is one of the deepest positions on Alabama’s roster, though. While McClellan is the top option out of the backfield, but fellow senior Roydell Williams has been effective of late. The Crimson Tide has also utilized sophomore Jam Miller more in recent weeks and has two talented true freshmen, Justice Haynes and Richard Young, waiting on their turns.

“The running back group as a whole is very encouraging,” said offensive lineman Tyler Booker on Tuesday. “Just to have as many young guys as we have and have Roydell, as well, with that experience that he brings, they’re all ready. They’re plug-and-play. It’s really hard to tell a difference of who’s back there at running back because everybody does their job and they do it really well.”

Latest on four injured UGA starters

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was also asked about the progress of four Bulldog offensive starters with injuries – Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey, Tate Ratledge and Rara Thomas.

“They have not been able to do a lot,” Smart said on Thursday’s Zoom call. “Each one has worked kind of independently. Tate has done some drill work, some 11-on-11 stuff. Brock has sprinkled in some of that. The other guys have been able to run and do some things. But we’re going to find out today what their availability is, to be honest. It’s tough.”

The 2023 SEC Championship Game will kick off at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 2, on CBS.

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