And the injury bug finally hits in a very big way...
After hours and hours of rumors circulating on the Internet, Alabama's Brian Motley -- slated to be the starter at defensive tackle -- has suffered "a broken bone on the outside of the ankle," according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Nothing is mentioned in regard to the severity of the injury, but you have to figure he will miss several weeks. Considering it sounds like a smaller bone break, I wouldn't think he'd miss the year -- though that's possible, the information we have is very limited and incomplete. Some people have speculated that he would miss four to six weeks with the injury, and that seems reasonable, I suppose. In all likelihood, if that's the case, he would probably be back for the Tennessee game, but would miss most, and likely all, of the three game stretch against Arkansas, Georgia, and Florida State.
As for defensive tackle, the time has come for Lorenzo Washington. And while he's looked pretty good in Fall practice, it's a major concern.
The real problem, however, is depth. Aside from Washington, about all we have is Alfred McCullough. Josh Chapman almost certainly won't play due to eligibility questions regarding the Hoover academic scandal.
At this point, we just have to hope for the best.
The article states only that he will miss the season opener, so perhaps he can be ready to go for Vanderbilt or Arkansas, though I'm afraid that's likely more wishful thinking than anything else.
Update [2007-8-29 9:6:9 by Todd]:
Looks like we can count Motley out for the year. As bad as this is for the team, I really hate it for him. He was buried on the depth chart at center last year and now he had had worked his way into starting at one of the most important positions on defense, so you know this has to be a huge disappointment for him.
Anyway, Washington will get the start Saturday, but behind him is anyone's guess. Alfred McCullough is a true freshman that wasn't listed on the depth chart released by Saban, and Josh Chapman won't see the field until the eligibility issues are cleared up. In talking with OTS last night, there are some options for the Tide, but I don't like either of them. Luther Davis, who was listed as a third string DE, could move inside. He was a four star DT recruit out of high school (#25 DT in the country), so he's used to playing at tackle, and Justin Britt, who played his first two seasons on the d-line before moving to offense could move back since we are finally deep enough at guard to move someone. I don't like the latter option, personally, since this new defense is fairly complicated and Britt hasn't worked with the defense at all. We'll just have to wait 'til Saturday and see who gets a look at NT during junk time to know anything, I guess.