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Nick Saban reveals status on trio defensive players for Alabama

Alabama linebacker Deontae Lawson gets a play call against Florida
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Alabama has a trio of injuries on defense ahead of its Southeastern Conference matchup against Kentucky.

Deontae Lawson (linebacker) and Jaylen Key (safety) both suffered injuries last week versus LSU. Lawson, a redshirt sophomore, has an ankle issue while Key sustained a quad injury. Key, a transfer from UAB, has 46 tackles, a pass breakup, and an interception through eight games. Coach Nick Saban said both are ‘questionable’ for the game versus the Wildcats.

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It depends on how much both can do in practice that will dictate if they will be able to play.

Devonta Smith, a defensive back, has not played all season to this point. He suffered a foot injury in preseason camp and Key ended up winning the starting job at free safety. Smith, a former four-star in the 2021 recruiting class, is doing ‘dry land running,’ according to Saban. Smith is ‘day-to-day’ and is getting closer to full health at 80 percent per Saban.

Hopefully, the Tide can get Smith back to 100 percent at some point in the season.

RELATED: Nick Saban finally reveals where Ja’Corey Brooks has been

If Lawon and Key cannot go against Kentucky, keep your eyes on Jihaad Campbell and Kristian Story. Alabama also has Tony Mitchell, Jake Pope, and Brayson Hubbard who could play free safety if Key cannot participate against Kentucky.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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