I won’t mince words. This has been a horrible fall for Alabama. And two days before the season opener, it keeps getting worse.
First there was linebacker Josh McMillon being lost for the season, losing a 5th year senior and starter. Then freshman Christian Harris stepped up, only to suffer a knee injury of his own. He’s a full participant again, but a true freshman that missed a couple of weeks of reps and likely has some nagging pain is going to hamper him early on.
And now the other starter at inside linebacker, All-American Dylan Moses, just had emergency surgery for a knee injury, and is likely out for the season.
So get ready for Alabama to start two true freshman (Harris and Shane Lee) at the position on defense that requires the most knowledge of scheme and playcalling.
Yeah. Start swinging your cactus.
But wait, there’s more. On the defensive line, starters LaBryan Ray and DJ Dale have both been dealing with nagging foot injuries. And promising reserve freshman Justin Eboigbe has missed most of fall camp with an injury of his own. The first two are expected to play in the opener, but many have observed that they both still seem a little hampered.
Oh, and then there’s the running backs. Alabama’s top recruit in the 2019 class, Trey Sanders, went down with a knee injury and will miss the whole season. 4th string back Jerome Ford is limited with a foot injury. But at least Alabama has the top two backs in Najee Harris and Brian Robinson, right?
Not so fast. Word is that the pair is suspended for the first half of the season opener. Nick Saban won’t comment on it, but it’s been reported quite widely by reputable writers. Even though they’ll be back by half time, that still leaves Alabama with all of one healthy scholarship running back on the roster, 190-lb true freshman Keilan Robinson.
Plus there’s the fact that there may be underlying leadership/attitude issues with Robinson and Harris getting suspended.
But they weren’t the only two. Included with them in the suspension is ANOTHER starting linebacker, Terrell Lewis, and starting wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
So yeah. Things aren’t pretty. And today is not the day to look for the positives. So break out your cacti and start swinging.