Alabama is without two of its best pass rushers for the season.
UA coach Nick Saban confirmed outside linebacker Terrell Lewis and Christian Miller suffered season-ending injuries in the win against Florida State. Lewis sustained a torn ligament in his elbow and Miller tore his biceps muscle.
In addition, linebackers Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings sustained groin and ankle injuries, respectively and are questionable.
“Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis will be out for the year,” Saban said. “Both of them have season-ending surgeries coming up. Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings both have, I would call them significant injuries that won’t be long-term and we will just list them as questionable. They’ll be day-to-day but uncertain as to when they’ll be able to come back and play. We’re hopeful that will be sooner than later.”
Lewis and Miller were Alabama’s top two pass rushers at outside linebackers. There injuries combined with Jennings being sidelined for the moment means UA is without its top three outside linebackers.
Evans moved into a starting role this season at inside linebacker after filling in for Shaun Dion Hamilton in the postseason last season after Hamilton tore his ACL.
Hamilton knows firsthand what the injured linebackers are going through. He also knows it’s the next man up.
“Well, it definitely sucks with two guys going down, but like I said before we just rebuild,” Hamilton said. “Next guy’s up. All the guys who get recruited here are top guys, so it’s time for them to grow up.
“We have a lot of good young guys and I already told them that if y’all need anything from me I am willing to help and watch extra film with them or whatever. I know me and all the other coaches and some of the leaders are going to do what we need to do to get those guys ready.”
Saban didn’t mention names, nor did Hamilton, about potential replacements. However, Dylan Moses is a young linebacker who has cross trained at inside and outside linebacker. The freshman could see increased playing time. Mack Wilson is another one who could move outside if needed.
“You lose two guys, the next two guys have to step up,” 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. And we’re going to work very hard as a coaching staff to help those guys get in position to do that.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.