Nick Saban updates injury status of Alabama football's DJ Dale, Jaheim Oatis

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football coach Nick Saban said defensive linemen Jaheim Oatis and DJ Dale, both of whom are dealing with injuries, are going to start practicing again this week.

The two defensive tackles missed the Mississippi State game.

"We'll kind of determine how they do during the course of the week and what their availability will be when the game comes," Saban said Monday.

No. 6 Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) will face No. 17 LSU (6-2, 4-1) on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN) at Tiger Stadium.

Oatis and Dale were both in street clothes during the game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 22.

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"They're day to day, but hopefully we'll get one back for sure," Saban said after the win over the Bulldogs. "Maybe both. But it's probably too early to tell."

Dale and Oatis are co-starters on the interior of the defensive line. Among the players Alabama rotated inside were Jahmil Burroughs and Damon Payne Jr.

This season, Oatis has 20 total tackles in seven games with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Dale has eight tackles in seven games with two tackles for loss and two sacks.

Alabama's depth on the defensive line is being tested this season. Justin Eboigbe, a veteran defensive end, is not expected to return in 2022 as he deals with a neck injury.

"He had a procedure done that would enhance his opportunity to be able to play in the future, but I don't think that's going to come this season," Saban said this past week.

Byron Young and Tim Smith are the leading snap-count recipients on the defensive line this season with 297 and 198, respectively, according to Pro Football Focus.

Dale and Oatis, despite missing a game, aren't far behind. Dale has received 193 snaps while Oatis has 172.

If Alabama can get at least one of the two back, that will help the depth upfront, particularly if the Crimson Tide needs to stop the run in short yardage situations.