Alabama Football injury updates heading into UT-Chattanooga

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football went into last week’s game at Kentucky a little banged up. That didn’t slow down the Tide, who rolled to a 49-21 victory in Lexington.

Alabama may have to go without a couple of defensive starters for at least another week. In his Wednesday presser, Coach Nick Saban provided updates on redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Deontae Lawson and senior safety Jaylen Key, noting that both are still rehabbing and working to return to the lineup. Both players are considered to be questionable for this week’s game against UT-Chattanooga, and Saban included that a final determination on their status could possibly be made on Thursday.

Lawson has dealt with multiple ankle injuries this season, and has already missed two games (Mississippi State and Kentucky). Trezmen Marshall has been a serviceable replacement inside, and he and Jihaad Campbell form a respectable duo at linebacker.

The task of replacing Jaylen Key at safety is a little more complicated. At times, Bama has used senior Kristian Story to fill in for Key. At others, it has bumped Malachi Moore back to safety from his usual star position. From there, starting cornerback Terrion Arnold shifts inside to play star, and backup corner Trey Amos steps into the lineup on the boundary. While there might be a drop-off when Alabama has had to shift its secondary around, it hasn’t been significant. Players like Story and especially Amos have been solid in their roles.

Offensively, wide receiver Jermaine Burton is expected to play this week. Burton is Bama’s leading receiver, and missed last week’s game against Kentucky with an illness. Though Burton is a noted big play threat, the Tide has deployed such a balanced receiving corps this season that it would hardly miss any one individual player. Fellow receiver Ja’Corey Brooks, who has had a quiet season with just three catches, is dealing with an injury of his own. His status for this week’s game is unknown.

Next. Cost-benefit of playing Chattanooga. dark

Depth has proven to be one of the strengths of the Alabama Football team, which has afforded it the luxury of allowing its injured players to fully heal. The Tide shouldn’t have any issues with the Mocs, but it would ideally like to be at full strength when it heads down to Auburn next week.