Nick Saban updates injuries, praises offensive line

Alabama coach talks about upcoming scrimmage, concerns at tight end during press conference

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Even though he didn’t get into specifics and the starters have yet to be determined, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban had high praise for the offensive line on Thursday afternoon.

However, he’s concerned about the Crimson Tide’s tight ends.

Saban made the comments during his last press conference building up to Saturday’s second closed scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. This week is traditionally the toughest part of fall camp, but this year the Crimson Tide has also been dealing with some brutal heat.

“We’ll probably end up having to play a game or two in the daytime, in pretty difficult conditions,” Saban said. “I mean, it usually happens that way around here. We’re trying to create a balance for that.”

The coach said there have been no major injuries this week, mostly some banged up players. However he did provide some updates:

• Freshman nose tackle DJ Dale (knee) might return to practice on Friday.

• Redshirt freshman defensive end Stephon Wynn Jr. had surgery to repair a high ankle sprain, and will probably be out another week.

• Junior defensive end LaBryan Ray (ankle) is practicing on a limited basis.

He then went on about liking this year’s offensive line, which is anchored by tackles Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills Jr.

“Without naming specific players, I think we can have a really good offensive line. We’ve had players sort of nicked up, missing a practice here, missing a practice there. Like to get them all out there so we can try to put our best group together and try to get our best five out there, which I don’t know that we’ve ever had the chance to do to this point.

“But I feel better about the number of players that we have at that position now than I’ve had most of the time in the past, so I feel pretty good about it.”

Meanwhile, the tight ends remain more of a work in progress. After redshirt sophomore Miller Forristall there’s no one on the roster with the experience, and depth is also an issue.

Saban said senior walk-on Giles Amos will have a role with the offense, but “We have got to make improvement at that position.

“Miller’s probably the only guy that’s sort of old enough that has enough experience that kind of gets it. I think the other guys are going to have to develop that and they’ve made progress. And Giles has done a good job in taking advantage of the opportunity that he has because of the lack of depth that we have at that position. He’s gotten a lot of repetitions and he’s taken advantage of it.” 

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