Alabama Football: Is Jalen Milroe 100% for Tennessee Game?

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

For most Alabama football fans the biggest concern about Saturday is the Tennessee pass rush against the Crimson Tide offensive line. There are ample reasons to question the Tide’s pass protection, from the left side of the offensive line to helping tight ends and pass-protecting running backs.

Tennessee has earned a reputation for its fierce pass rush. As I wrote on Tuesday, as impressive as the Vols pass-rushing stats are, Tennessee will need more than sack monsters to beat the Crimson Tide.

That something else will not be ‘one more thing’ but rather a combination of factors, that if all tilt to the Vols, could create an upset.

If a persistent rumor is true, one such factor could be the health of Jalen Milroe. Let’s be clear about two things. One is there has been zero official notice that Jalen Milroe sustained an injury or is recovering from one. The other thing, Bama Hammer is not a site that feasts on rumors. We mostly ignore them unless there is insight from an Alabama football insider or because fan speculation has spread so much a rumor cannot be ignored.

Alabama Football Jalen Milroe Rumor

In the leadup to the Texas A&M game, it was rumored Jalen Milroe had hurt a hamstring in practice. Practice photos showed Milroe working as normal but with a heavily wrapped leg.

The other indication that Milroe is not 100% is in the last two Crimson Tide contests he has been little more than a pocket passer. In the four games before Milroe was possibly injured, his net rushing totaled 189 yards, even after negative sacks yards. Against the Aggies and the Razorbacks, Milroe’s combined net rushing yards were minus-40 yards. Crimson Tide fans opine in those two games when Milroe tried to run he appeared tentative and showed little of the explosive burst seen in earlier games.

It is possible Milroe did tweak a hamstring, but not enough to seriously impede him. He was criticized early in the season about bailing from pockets too early in favor of being a runner. It could be that Nick Saban, Tommy Rees and Milroe have concentrated on settling in the pocket, providing more time to search for more than a primary receiving target. If so, it worked against the Aggies, with six Crimson Tide players catching passes for 321 yards.

With Milroe missing some throws against the Razorbacks, a focus on pocket passing did not work as well. Still, the Crimson Tide produced 238 passing yards and 415 yards of total offense.

If the rumor has some basis in fact and a hamstring problem occurred about two weeks ago, a minor hamstring injury can heal in several days to a couple of weeks. More severe ones can take longer.

Note: Stats provided by Sports Reference and

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Alabama football fans would like to see Jalen Milroe making long touchdown sprints on Saturday. More important is having him 100% for the LSU game.