D.J. Fluker’s chances at playing in this Saturday’s Senior Bowl are up in the air, after the former Tide standout noted that groin and calf injuries may force him to sit out.
Earlier this month, Fluker announced that he would forego his senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft, joining graduated seniors Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack.
On Friday, Fluker became one of the two first non-seniors – along with Syracuse offensive tackle Justin Pugh – to be invited to the Senior Bowl after being cleared by the NFL. Both players were listed as redshirt juniors this past season after redshirting as freshmen.
“That’s kind of questionable right now,” Fluker said about his playing status in Sunday’s Senior Bowl press conference in Mobile. “I’m trying to see how I feel today and tomorrow and see how we go from there.”
Fluker, who was once projected as a second or third-round pick, steadily improved his draft stock over the course of this past season. According to draft analysts, such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, Fluker is currently projected as a first-round pick.
Although sitting out shouldn’t hurt his draft stock, Fluker spoke as if he still had something to prove this week.
“Hopefully to prove to everybody that I can play,” Fluker said. “I [want to show] I’m a physical tackle. That’s kind of what people look for. I [want to show I can] move in pass protection and try to prove it and all the little things.”
Fluker will be joined in Mobile this week by five former Alabama teammates: tight end Michael Williams, linebacker Nico Johnson, long snapper Carson Tinker, safety Robert Lester, and center Barrett Jones. Jones won’t play as he recovers from foot surgery after originally injuring the foot in the SEC Championship game vs. Georgia.