Alabama Football will not have several key players available for Saturday’s A-Day game. When Nick Saban was asked about injuries, his decision was not to discuss injuries to specific players and only testily acknowledged that some players would miss the game.
There has been enough information reported over the last few weeks to know certain players will not participate Saturday. On the offensive line, Emil Ekiyor and Pierce Quick have not been available throughout the spring. Trey Sanders, while doing some drills, is not yet recovered enough for physical contact. Defensive lineman, Phidarian Mathis, wide receiver John Metchie and defensive back, Malachi Moore will also sit out the spring game.
There has been nothing definitive about Evan Neal and Javion Cohen’s participation. The injuries that caused them to miss part or all of the second Alabama Football spring scrimmage are not believed to be serious. Particularly in Neal’s case, with a fall starting role cemented, there is little to be gained by playing him Saturday.
Saban, in talking about “some guys out” stated there is no value in presuming depth charts based on A-Day lineups. Although the Alabama Football coach has repeated being pleased with the play of Bryce Young throughout the spring, this week Saban only acknowledged Young as QB1 “for right now.”
There is an unconfirmed rumor that only two of the Crimson Tide’s three scholarship quarterbacks will participate in A-Day. It is believed the guy who may not be able to play is freshman, Jalen Milroe.
Another rumor is COVID issues will drive some non-participation with final decisions on some players being made as late as Saturday morning.
New Alabama Football Offense
From a scheme and formation standpoint, A-Day games are simple contests. That is even more true when a new Offensive Coordinator is calling plays. It is possible DC Pete Golding will also be directed to pare down the attacking part of his defense, limiting or excluding blitz packages.
The recent change of listing Keilan Robinson as a wide receiver will call attention to his A-Day performance. It is presumed he will work as a slot receiver and will be used at running back and receiver in the fall.
A-Day is as much a media, fan and recruiting event as it is a football game. Recruits will attend as part of the 50 percent capacity crowd.
The A-Day kickoff is at noon and can be seen on ESPN. After the game, the 2020 Alabama Football National Champions will be honored.