Andre Smith has a sprained knee and Earl Alexander has a sprained ankle. The biggest concern is Smith’s knee. Offensive linemen are important and left tackles are a premium, especially when they are future NFL players.
â€œFrom an injury standpoint Andre Smith has a sprained knee,â€ Saban said. â€œHe is going to be day-to-day and out for a few days. I donâ€™t know if he will play in this game or not, it is still up in the air and we probably wonâ€™t know for a few days relative to how he heals. Earl Alexander has got a sprained ankle that has been kind of a chronic thing that flared up again in the game. He is going to be in a boot for several days and it is undetermined right now whether he will be able to play in this game or not. There may be a couple guys out there that are in black shirts today but those guys are just sore, beat up or tired. We expect them to be fine for the game.â€
The injury to Smith could keep him out of the Tulane game. In itself, it may not be a bad thing to let Smith heal by missing the game. However, Smith missing repetitions isnâ€™t a good thing. Routine is important, and while Mike Johnson did a good job it messes up the routine.
â€œMike played an outstanding game. Probably the best game Mike Johnson has played since we have been here,â€ Saban said. â€œHe has played a lot of good football for us. He was a little more hesitant when he was playing tackle because he wasnâ€™t getting as many reps and they (Clemson) do a lot of good stuff and have a lot of good players on defense but we were not disappointed in the job that he did. We were still able to move the ball and I am sure with a week to prepare he would be able to play the positions a lot better.â€
It is only natural for a player to have the hesitancy in such a situation. When Smith misses a game or two, you have to wonder if there would be similar hesitancy when players are shuffled back to their normal positions.
And not to bring up a doomsday scenario, but another injury would certainly further disrupt what looks to be the linchpin of this yearâ€™s team. (And when was the last time we could say the offensive line was a strength?)
Anything that disrupts routine is a bad thing. Let’s hope the disruption is minor and shortâ€”the SEC schedule begins soon.