There is very little doubt that the Alabama defense will be missing a key piece without safety and senior leader Eddie Jackson on the field for the remainder of the season. Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen detailed what Jackson’s loss means to the team Monday talking to Paul Finebaum and it comes down to not just losing out on a very gifted player, but also a key part of the defensive leadership.
With Jackson out there are several roles to fill. The Tide will most likely go with freshman Xavian Marks to return punts, he already has a punt return touchdown on the season. As far as the secondary goes it could be Minkah Fitzpatrick sliding over to fill Jackson’s role with either Tony Brown, Hootie Jones, or Ronnie Harrison, but most likely Brown.
Saban discussed Jackson and the secondary situation Monday,
“I don’t know exactly how we’ll manage that, you know,” Saban said Monday according to 247sports. “We wanna talk to some of the players today.
“But the good news is is Eddie’s gonna be fine. This is not gonna be something that’s gonna affect his career in any kind of way, shape or form. He’s obviously gonna be out for the season, but if there’s anything that’ll heal and he won’t have problems with, it’s a broken bone.
“We hate losing him. He’s a great leader, was a really a great player for us in the secondary. He’s a great person on our team. But it’ll create an opportunity for somebody else, and hopefully they’ll be able to take advantage of it.”
As far as taking on the role of leader at safety and of the secondary, it appears that Minkah Fitzpatrick is ready to step up in a big way.