Alabama coach Nick Saban announced after Wednesday’s practice that freshman wide receiver Chris Black will likely make his college football debut in Saturday’s SEC Championship against Georgia.
“This decision was made with Chris and his family, so he had input in it as well, in terms of that whole scenario,” Saban said. “Chris wants to play. He can help the team by playing.”
Black, who has yet to play this season due to a shoulder injury suffered in a practice back in August, returned to practice participating only in non-contact drills following Alabama’s Nov. 3 win at LSU.
Beginning this week, he has practiced without the black, non-contact jersey that he had previously worn since returning to practice. Even then, the decision to play him was still in doubt as the initial plans were to redshirt him this season while he recovered from shoulder surgery.
“We’re trying to get Chris ready to play and he’s responded really well,” Saban said. “He had good carryover from what he did before. We still want to end up playing the three guys that have played the most for us this year.”
Saban’s decision to accept Black’s desire to play can partially be attributed to the thinning depth at wide receiver after junior Kenny Bell suffered a broken leg in Alabama’s 49-0 win over Auburn last Saturday.
Alabama previously lost another wide receiver in sophomore DeAndrew White for the season after he went down with a knee injury on Sept. 29 against Ole Miss.