The Alabama football program released some bad news on Thursday but all was not bad, there was some good news for Crimson Tide fans as well.
As many Alabama football fans had feared, it was learned Thursday the Tide’s three suspended players will not be available for a national championship game. Losing Kedrick James and Elliot Baker has virtually no impact on the Tide’s win probability. Losing offensive lineman Deonte Brown for a potential game against the Clemson/Notre Dame winner is an entirely different matter.
Since mid-season, Deonte Brown at left guard added a much-needed run blocking boost to the Alabama football offense. The guy Brown replaced as a starter, Lester Cotton will step in for Brown. Cotton, a starter at right guard last season, has plenty of experience and is probably a better pass-blocker than Brown. Lester does have a bit of history with holding penalties and he is not the road grader, run blocker Crimson Tide fans prefer against the Sooners defense.
Who backs up Cotton now, and Alex Leatherwood as well, is much on the minds of Tide fans. In south Florida practice sessions, true freshman Emil Ekiyor has been at left guard with the second unit, with Josh Casher at right guard.
On to the good news for Alabama football
Outside linebacker, Terrell Lewis is no longer doubtful for the Oklahoma game. Lewis will not play against the Sooners but he has not completely ruled out playing in a national championship game. Wondering where the good news is Tide fans? Lewis said Thursday he will return to the Crimson Tide next season rather than turning pro.
I want to play. I want to have a legacy when I leave Alabama.
Lewis had ACL surgery on July 10 and returning in January may be deemed too risky. The other Crimson Tide injured linebacker, Chris Allen will also miss the remainder of the season.
There was more good news on Thursday though it was not quite as emphatic. Alabama Crimson Tide head trainer, Jeff Allen was asked to comment on Tua’s assessment of his injured ankle being 80-85 percent. Allen’s response was,
He looks better than that to me.
Music to the ears of Alabama football fans. Nick Saban is also optimistic about Tua’s health.
He’s done things in practice that make you feel as though he doesn’t have lingering issues. He’s been able to move around in the pocket. He’s been able to throw the ball in the run.
All week the question has been not could Tua play, but how would the ankle hold up to contact. That will be left unanswered until Saturday night.
Keep in close touch with Bama Hammer, Tide fans. We will keep up-to-date with the latest information heading into Saturday night.