Alabama football receiver JoJo Earle has foot fracture, Nick Saban said

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

JoJo Earle continues to have bad injury luck in his time with Alabama football.

The sophomore receiver suffered a Jones fracture in his foot in practice recently and will miss about six to eight weeks, Nick Saban said Wednesday.

"We just have to see how it goes," Saban said. "Hopefully by maybe October 1st or something like that, he will be close to being ready to come back." 

Earle already had to miss time late in the 2021 season after he suffered a leg injury in the New Mexico State game. He didn’t return until the Cotton Bowl.

"He was doing a really, really good job," Saban said. "Having a really good camp. Probably the best he has been on a consistent basis. Just saw a guy that grew up and was playing with a lot of confidence." 

Even while missing three games, Earle still managed to receive recognition as a freshman. He earned a spot on the All-SEC freshman team as voted by the coaches in the return specialist role. Earle finished the year with 88 yards on 13 punt returns, the longest of which he took 29 yards.

As a receiver, Earle caught 12 passes for 148 yards, which included a reception of 39 yards. After the Mercer game, the Alabama coaching staff recognized him as one of the offensive players of the week.

"We'll miss him for a while," Saban said. "We want him to get well, and I'm sure he will contribute to the team at some point and time this year." 

The Aledo, Texas, native was one of several players needed to contribute to replacing what the Crimson Tide lost at receiver. With Jameson Williams, John Metchie III and Slade Bolden off to the NFL, Alabama lost its three leaders in receptions.

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Alabama added transfers in Georgia’s Jermaine Burton and Louisville’s Tyler Harrell, but Earle was expected to be one of the top players to have a chance at adding production out of the slot with Bolden off to the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent.

Freshman Aaron Anderson, similarly suited for the slot like Earle, is also injured right now. He is dealing with a knee injury, Saban said Sunday. Anderson, however, will probably be back in a few weeks.

Another pass catcher missing time with an injury right now is Cameron Latu, who has a minor knee injury. Saban said he will be out a couple of weeks. Latu is Alabama’s returning leader in touchdown receptions with eight in 2021.

Running back Jase McClellan is second with three receiving touchdowns while Ja’Corey Brooks is third after he caught two touchdowns in his freshman season.

Brooks is among other options Alabama has at receiver in addition to the transfers. Also from the same class as Brooks and Earle, Christian Leary is a sophomore who joined quarterback Bryce Young in California to work out at one point in May. He helped fill the void at running back with most of Alabama’s scholarship backs hurt by the end of the 2021 season.

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly