The predominant storyline at University of Alabama football practice this week has been injury-related roster attrition so Nick Saban had to feel better to see a player return to the practice field on Monday night.

 Sophomore defensive tackle LaBryan Ray, who missed the first two weeks of practice with a foot injury, was back at practice and going through some drills although he will not be back in full pads until he completes the mandatory NCAA three-day acclimation period. Ray came out of the spring as a projected starter opposite senior defensive end Raekwon Davis. Freshman DJ Dale continued to sit out with a knee sprain, as Saban noted on Saturday, projecting that Dale would be back at practice “in a week or so.”

 Junior linebacker Dylan Moses, who sat out the Saturday scrimmage as a precaution was back. Sophomore Markail Benton worked alongside Moses in the absence of Josh McMillon, although UA coaches continue to look at several linebacker possibilities including Christian Harris, Ale Kaho, Shane Lee and Jaylen Moody, depending on defensive alignment.

 Defensive tackle Stephon Wynn was also out of practice. Saban is expected to address Wynn’s status at his Thursday media availability.

 Chadarius Townsend, who spent spring practice working at running back before returning to wide receiver at the start of August, was back at running back on Monday. The move was likely promoted by the loss of freshman running back Trey Sanders (foot surgery) last week and should provide added depth at the position.

 NICK SABAN provided an official update on the status of senior linebacker Josh McMillon on Monday afternoon.

 “Josh McMillon suffered an injury to his right knee Saturday that will require surgery, and keep him out for an indefinite period,” Saban said in a UA release. “We have a great medical staff here and he will have the full support of everyone in the organization as he goes through the rehab process. We are confident Josh will make a full recovery.”

 ALABAMA UNVEILED new LED lighting at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Monday night, including a Crimson-hued light show that places full disco power in the hands of UA director of Athletics Greg Byrne, although he is likely to be more conservative than a full Saturday Night Fever attack.

 “The current lights were at the end of their effective life and we wanted to go to LEDs because they are so much more efficient,” Byrne said. “As an added bonus, that gave us some color capability and we are excited about exploring some different ways to use that.”


 Reach Cecil Hurt at or 205-722-0225.