football Edit

A look at Alabama's possible replacements at linebacker

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Report: Pair of Alabama linebackers out for the season

Alabama grade out: How the Tide looked against FSU

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Mack Wilson (30) celebrates his interception with defensive back Ronnie Harrison (15) in the 4th quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Photo | USA Today

With season-ending injuries to two of its biggest pass-rushing threats, Alabama will now need to rely on its depth at the linebacker position.

Starter Christian Miller (torn biceps) and fellow outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, (torn ligament in elbow) were both hurt during the Crimson Tide’s season opener against Florida State over the weekend and will not be able to return this year. Alabama also lost starters Rashaan Evans (groin) and Anfernee Jennings (ankle) during the game, although those injuries are not thought to be as severe.

Fortunately for Alabama, it entered the season with plenty of depth at the position. While much of that talent is still inexperienced, the next three weeks will be crucial for the Tide as it faces non-conference foes Fresno State and Colorado State before gearing up for its SEC opener against Vanderbilt on Sept. 23.

"You lose two guys, the next two guys have to step up," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "It creates opportunities for other people in the program. We're going to have to take some of the younger guys that we have and try to develop them more quickly. We hate it that we lost these players. They're both good players. They both made significant improvement. They both played well in the game. But this is an opportunity for somebody else to step up and be able to play at a high level as well."

Here is a look at some of the players who could fill in at new roles:

Mack Wilson

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Mack Wilson (30) warms up prior to the SEC Championship college football game against the Florida Gators at Georgia Dome. Photo | USA Today

The former five-star recruit stepped up Saturday night, tallying three tackles and an interception. Wilson flashed his potential last season, coming up big several times on special teams. He also had an impressive preseason, with five tackles including one for a loss during A-Day.

“He has been progressing good and been working pretty hard,” Hamilton said of Wilson. “It’s important that him and all the other guys — we just got to keep getting better and come in every day and get better at practice.”

Wilson, 6-foot-2, 236 pounds, has worked primarily inside but has the versatility to move to the Sam position if needed. A lot of that could depend on where Rashaan Evans is deployed once he returns from injury. Monday, Wilson was practicing with the inside linebackers.


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