Alabama will be without linebacker Anfernee Jennings in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Georgia.
Jennings, a redshirt sophomore, had a big game in the CFP semifinal win over Clemson Monday night, but suffered what coach Nick Saban called a “sprained knee” in the second half. Jennings revealed Wednesday that he had surgery on the knee that will keep him out of Monday’s title game.
Before the injury, Jennings registered five tackles and three tackles for loss in the 24-6 win. He also made the hit on Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant that resulted in a bad throw and an interception for defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne.
Jennings’ pressure on Bryant was one of the biggest plays of the game. At the time, Clemson, down 10-6, had driven toward midfield and was looking to take the lead, but Jennings’ hit caused the interception. Not long after, Alabama drove to the goal line and Jalen Hurts threw a short touchdown pass to Payne to extend the lead to 17-6.
With Jennings, who plays outside linebacker, sidelined, Alabama has some experienced guys who can fill in, including Christian Miller, Terrell Lewis and Jamey Mosley. Miller and Lewis missed significant time this season due to injury but returned before the regular season finale. They were among a bevy of Bama linebackers to go down with injuries this year.
The team’s top two inside linebackers, Shaun Dion Hamilton (knee) and Dylan Moses (foot) missed the Clemson game and won’t return against Georgia, but the Tide defense did just fine without them, holding Clemson to just 188 yards.
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