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Alabama DL Justin Eboigbe unlikely to return this season

Photo by Kent Gidley

After missing the past few, games Alabama head coach Nick Saban provided a new update on defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe and his chances of seeing the field this season.

Unfortunately, the update Saban provided was not leaning positive as the head coach shared on the SEC coaches teleconference that Eboigbe likely won’t return this year.

“I don’t think so,” Saban said. “I think that he had a procedure done that would enhance his opportunity to be able to play in the future, but I don’t think that that’s gonna come this season.”

Eboigbe missed the entire month of October with a neck injury. In his first four games of action this season the senior recorded 11 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.

The Crimson Tide’s depth up front continued to get tested last week against Mississippi State as its two starters DJ Dale and Jaheim Oatis were both sidelined. Along with regular contributors in Byron Young and Tim Smith getting the start, Alabama also saw contributions from Damon Payne, Jamil Burroughs and Jah-Marien Latham against the Bulldogs.

Saban shared after the game that he was pleased overall with the readiness of the team’s younger players on the line but is hoping to get its other pair of starters back soon.

“We really only had four defensive linemen in the game,” Saban said following the 30-6 win. “The most we ever played with was two, sometimes only one and played a whole bunch of backers. So you get a little small, which can affect your ability to stop the run. But you’ve gotta scheme it the best you can with the guys that you’ve got. And hopefully, we’ll get some of these guys back. But it’s also a good experience for those guys, and they’ll be more ready to play the next time.”

Alabama will have its bye week to try and get its line healthy before traveling to Death Valley to take on LSU on Nov. 5.

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