University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that Terrell Lewis’ surgery earlier this month would “test the flexibility” of the Crimson Tide at the linebacker position and had already had at least one ramification as Alabama prepares for its season opener against Louisville.

“We had actually been working Christian Miller some at inside linebacker because we felt he was one of those guys with the ability to play both,” Saban said. “Now, he’ll be a starter at outside linebacker and we will just have to see if that reduces the time we can work with him inside. It probably will have an effect.”

Miller was a starter at the beginning of the 2017 season but suffered a triceps injury against Florida State that sidelined him for 10 games.

Saban said that linebacker depth would be an issue for a second straight year, noting that “we haven’t played a game since the first game last year (FSU) where somebody (at that position) wasn’t hurt.”

In addition to Lewis’ injury, Alabama has lost VanDarius Cowan (dismissed from team) and Keith Holcombe (baseball) this summer.

“I think (Keith) would add a tremendous amount of experience, knowledge, and diversity to our defense because he’s very smart, if he decided to come back, but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now,” Saban said.