TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When the University Alabama football team went through drills on Monday night, there were only nine of the 12 defensive linemen participating.
When reporters were present, they were in three groups of three for a bit:
Raekwon Davis, Phildarian Mathis and Byron Young
Braylan Ingraham, Christian Barmore and Justin Egoigbe
Tevita Musika, Ishmael Sopsher and Antonio Alfano.
In this case, the important thing wasn’t who they were working with, but who was absent.
Junior LaBryan Ray, who had offseason ankle surgery, was attending his first practice of fall camp and watching from the side.
Neither he nor freshman nose tackle DJ Dale will likely participate in this week’s closed scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
That left Stephon Wynn. After suffering an injury during last week’s scrimmage the redshirt freshman posted on Instagram that he had surgery on Sunday. Nick Saban will update his status during his next press conference, scheduled for Thursday.
While it’s getting difficult to keep track of who’s in and who’s out, an optimist would say that none of the numerous players who have been hailed as being a possible first-round draft pick next year (i.e., the ones who are being expected to carry the team) is currently out.
"I feel like that's just a part of the game," said redshirt junior linebacker Terrell Lewis, who is coming off a torn ACL. "So for me, I feel like that's why we preach to the guys to stay ready, you never know what could happen. Because it's a testament to what we've kind of been through around here.
"Like we've seen guys go down. My year  when I went down in the Florida State game and Christian [Miller] went down, so we've seen it and that's why we preach to guys to always stay ready. Because you might not see it right now, like, 'Oh I'm not going to be playing, or I'm not starting,' but you can't look at it like that. Be prepared because one day you might just get thrown in the fire."
Here’s the list (players in black no-contact jerseys not included):
• Freshman nose tackle DJ Dale: Out with a knee injury. Nick Saban said he would likely miss a week or two.
• Redshirt junior tight end Miller Forristall: Is already practicing after having offseason foot surgery, but is still working his way back to full strength.
• Redshirt junior cornerback Nigel Knott: The only player yet to practice, he’s out indefinitely with what Saban only described as a medical issue.
• Senior interior linebacker Josh McMillon: Out indefinitely with a knee injury, could miss entire season.
• Junior interior linebacker Dylan Moses: Didn’t practice for a couple of days, but was back in his usual spot Monday.
• Junior defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (ankle): Was at his first practice on Monday after having offseason surgery, is expected to be ready for season opener.
• Freshman running back Trey Sanders: Out indefinitely with a foot injury, could miss entire season.
• Freshman cornerback Brandon Turnage: Missed a day with an ankle injury, but is back practicing.
• Senior offensive lineman Matt Womack: Has been at practice, but held out of drills. Considered day-to-day.
• Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Stephon Wynn: Posted on Instragram he had surgery Sunday from a scrimmage-related injury.