TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ Coming off an injury sustained during the spring the plan was for University of Alabama sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson to participate in 40 snaps against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

He came close to that as the Crimson Tide medical staff continues to bring him slowly along after having knee surgery approximately five months ago.

“He made some good plays out there and I’m sure the more he plays the better he’ll get,” Coach Nick Saban said.

After being held out of last week’s game against West Virginia, which Jackson said was “tough,” especially since the Mountaineers passed for 365 yards, he started at the left cornerback spot and made four tackles, including an open-field takedown a loss to bust up a screen, and had the Crimson Tide’s first forced fumble of the season.

“He looked phenomenal,” junior safety Landon Collins said. “That’s the Eddie that we know. That’s the Eddie that’s going to come out and hit somebody and that’s what he did today. He came to show everyone that he’s ready to play and that he’s back.”

Jackson was pegged to be a starter when he sustained the injury during a scrimmage, on a play he not involved in any contact. However, somewhat similar to Vinnie Sunseri last year he vowed to return as soon as possible and thought he was ready to go last week.

“Frustrating,” he said about the injury. “I was kind of down but coach, teammates and trainers were all lifting me out and kept me in good spirits.

“(I did) a lot of rehab, two or three times a day.”

Jackson was on the field for the first practice of fall camp, but still had trouble cutting and taking angles. Saban said he showed a lot of improvement during the two weeks leading up to the season opener, but the decision was made to give him an extra week and not risk playing on the artificial surface inside the Georgia Dome.

“A lot to technology is used now to figure out a guy is ready to play or not,” Saban said. “The (system) that we use allows us to know whether a guy has the same explosive movements that he had before, and for how long. We can evaluate whether he cuts with the same explosive movement off that leg, and all those things are at the same standard as before he got hurt.”