TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama junior running back Josh Jacobs was still all smiles on Monday. Not only did he have a big game against Louisville, but was physically just as good.
“This was probably the first game I just felt great after the game,” he said. "My body, I don't see no bruises or anything. I just feel good."
Although a couple of players were pulled early due to injury concerns, the Crimson Tide didn’t have any major setbacks against the Cardinals.
Nick Saban said that a couple of players might be held out of Monday’s practice, but he expected everyone to be full-go for Tuesday.
It was in sharp contrast to last year’s opener against Florida State in Atlanta, where the season-long issues at linebacker began. Christian Miller (biceps) and Terrell Lewis (elbow) both missed 10 games, and Rashaan Evans suffered a painful groin injury.
Against Louisville, junior linebacker Mack Wilson was pulled in the third quarter, but could have returned.
“I just think my scar tissue popped in my foot,” Wilson said. “It’s nothing though. I’m good. I’m practicing. I’m ready to play on Saturday. It’s nothing.”
Like Jacobs, Wilson is coming off a major injury suffered last season, in his case a fractured foot. He was able to return for the College Football Playoff, while Jacobs was playing in his first game after having surgery to repair an ankle injury.
Junior linebacker Anfernee Jennings made his first start after sustaining a torn ACL against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl semifinal. He had three tackles and was in on a sack.
“I think that was a moment announcing to myself that I was back,” Jacobs said about his two-touchdown performance. “It was good to see like whenever I did something huge how my teammates reacted to it. They're happy to see me back, too.
“Like coming off an ankle injury, you kind of get nervous when you make certain cuts. So just being confident in and trusting in all the work that I put in this summer is paying off. That's the biggest thing."
As for other injury concerns, sophomore defensive lineman Quinnen Williams had an injury scare with his knee, but returned to the game and said afterward that he was fine.
Junior left tackle Jonah Williams had a player land on the back of his leg during Alabama’s first possession, which is about the scariest thing for a lineman because with his foot planted it can cause a knee injury.
“That’s what I got hurt on in the national championship game,” Williams said. “But it’s something that comes along with the game, and if you think about that, then you’re going to play slow, you’re going to start playing worried. So you really can’t think about it.
“I’ve started 30 games now and really only gotten hurt in 1, 1 1/2 , so it’s really not something you can think about that much. Because you start playing tentative. You’ve just got to go out there and play hard and trust that generally you’re going to be alright.”