SAN JOSE, Calif. — If Christian Miller has any say in the decision, he will be out on the field Monday night at Levi’s Stadium fighting alongside his Crimson Tide teammates for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship title. He doesn’t care for how long or in what capacity. He just wants to play in the game.
The issue is Alabama’s outside linebacker pulled his hamstring during the semifinal game a week ago and is still recovering.
“I never was ruled out,” Miller said Saturday at Alabama’s Media Day in the SAP Center.
No, but he hasn’t gotten the go-ahead from his coach just yet either.
“Christian Miller is questionable for the game,” Nick Saban said. “He hasn’t been able to do a lot in practice. We’ll sort of see what he can do (Saturday) and sort of further evaluate his circumstance and see if he can be effective enough to contribute in a game.”
This season, Miller has played in every game. The 6-foot-4, 244-pound pass rusher has made 36 total tackles, 11.5 of which were for a loss and 8.5 were sacks. He has also broken up a pass and recovered a fumble.
Players like Jamey Mosley and Eyabi Anoma will likely be called on to step up if Miller is sidelined.
The Crimson Tide is already down two linebackers with Terrell Lewis and Chris Allen already being deemed out. Both have ACL injuries.
Lewis hinted at a return on Twitter before postseason started, but he will not be making that return this season.
“It kind of was somewhat known,” Lewis said. “It was just more so trying to see how far we can push the limit to see whether I’d be able to play or not. But as far as me being able to go out there and play to the best of my ability and be strong enough to hold at the point of attack and be able to deal with their offensive linemen, I don’t think right now I’m ready for that.”
Lewis is a junior and plans to return next season. Allen is just a freshman.
Miller, one the other hand, is a redshirt senior. He has played in 45 games during his Alabama career. If he plays Monday, No. 46 will be his last.
“One way or another, this is going to work out,” Miller said. “I have complete faith and trust. You’re going to have to pull me off the field. I’m ready to give everything I’ve got.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.