BamaInsider - Nick Saban provides injury update on Alabama DL heading into Iron Bowl
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Nick Saban provides injury update on Alabama DL heading into Iron Bowl

The status of Alabama’s starting nose guard is still unclear heading into Saturday’s Iron Bowl. During his Wednesday Zoom call with reporters, Nick Saban provided an update on defensive tackle D.J. Dale, who missed last weekend’s game after pulling up with a knee injury during warmups.

“He practiced today,” Saban said. “He probably wasn’t 100%, but I think this is something that will get better and better. So we’ll just see how he progresses.”

Dale did not play against Arkansas after tweaking his knee during warmups. Following the game, Saban said the defensive lineman underwent an MRI which was “fine.”

“He’s had two surgeries on his patella tendons, and I think he was scared more than anything that something happened,” Saban said at the time. “It’s probably too early to tell, but hopefully, he’ll be OK.”

Dale, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, has started 10 games for Alabama this season, recording 11 tackles, including 2.5 stops for a loss and a sack. Against Arkansas, he was replaced by sophomore Tim Smith, who recorded one stop in his first career start for the Tide.

Smith, 6-foot-4, 308 pounds has played in all 11 games for Alabama this season, recording 18 stops, including 4.5 for a loss and .5 sacks.

“A guy who can bring energy each and every day,” Alabama defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe said of Smith earlier this season. “That’s what any player on both sides of the ball can wish for. The attention to detail to come in any phase of the game — special teams, offense, defense — come in, do their job and make the plays that come their way.”

No. 3 Alabama (10-1, 6-1 in the SEC) will travel to Auburn 6-5 (3-4) for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff Saturday inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Alabama defensive lineman D.J. Dale records a sack on Mercer quarterback Carter Peevy. Photo | Getty Images
Alabama defensive lineman D.J. Dale records a sack on Mercer quarterback Carter Peevy. Photo | Getty Images