The long road to recovery begins now for Trevon Diggs, Alabama’s starting cornerback out indefinitely after a serious ankle injury suffered in last week’s win over Arkansas.
Diggs had successful surgery this week and reached out to Alabama fans on Saturday via his personal Twitter account: “Thank you for All the love and Support! We have such an amazing family and fan base. I’m Just Thankful To be apart of it. I Trust In Gods Plan & I will be back on the field soon! Lets get this W! #RollTide.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban said this week the Crimson Tide aren’t expecting Diggs back this season, a potentially big blow to an already thin defense, especially at the back end.
“It’s going to be an extended period of time,” Saban said. “What he has is going to take a while. I would be surprised if he’ll be able to come back by the end of the season.”
The junior hasn’t missed a start in the Alabama secondary this season and primarily filled the Star role in Tosh Lupoi’s Dime packages on defense. Against the Razorbacks last week, Diggs recorded seven tackles and one pass breakup.
“We now have five defensive players that are out for an extended period of time that were starters and in the two-deep, and three of those guys are defensive backs,” Saban said Monday. “So, it’s going to be challenging. We’re obviously very thin. We need some other guys to step up and develop, and the next guy up’s got to take the challenge and play well for us.
“But Patrick (Surtain II) has played quite a bit at his position, so we do have two guys that do have some experience. We just don’t have a lot of depth right now. And we’re going to have to get some other players to develop and be able to play for us.”
Alabama hosts Mizzou on Saturday, who possess one of the nation’s top passing offenses and certainly the most potent the Crimson Tide will face the rest of the way during the regular season. Saban said its a matchup that poses potential problems for his team at the back end if they’re not focused on keeping Mizzou’s playmakers in front.
The Tigers will be playing without without top receivers Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown in Tuscaloosa.
Per BamaOnline’s Charlie Potter, with Diggs’ injury, Alabama has six healthy scholarship cornerbacks left on its roster in Shyheim Carter, Patrick Surtain II, Saivion Smith, Josh Jobe, Nigel Knott and D.J. Lewis. At practice this week during Dime drills, Smith and Surtain lined up at cornerback, Carter and Xavier McKinney were in the slot and Deionte Thompson and Jared Mayden were at safety.
Top-ranked Alabama is a 29.5-point favorite in Saturday’s game.