With DL LaBryan Ray out, injuries piling up on Alabama defense

Injuries are beginning to pile up for the Alabama defense.

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban announced Monday that defensive end LaBryan Ray, a preseason All-SEC selection, will miss next weekend’s game against Southern Miss.

Ray injured his foot in Saturday’s win over South Carolina and will undergo further testing to determine the severity of the injury. Al.com reported Sunday that Ray “has what’s feared to be a long-term and possibly season-ending injury.”

“We’re doing some further testing to see what the situation is with his foot, but it's undetermined right now as to how long he may be out,” Saban said per BamaInsider.com.

Through three games, Ray has nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss along with a sack and forced fumble for the Crimson Tide. If Ray is out for a significant period of time, he would become the team’s third defensive starter to go down. The Tide already lost starting linebackers Dylan Moses and Joshua McMillion to season-ending injuries.

With Ray out, another true freshman is slated to move into the starting lineup. Like freshmen Shane Lee and Christian Harris did at linebacker, Justin Eboigbe will likely move up to the first-team defense in Ray’s spot. Eboigbe was a four-star recruit in the 2019 class. If he does start against Southern Miss, he will be one of five freshmen in the lineup, joining Lee, Harris, defensive tackle D.J. Dale and safety Jordan Battle.

After playing Southern Miss, No. 2 Alabama will host Ole Miss before traveling to No. 17 Texas A&M.

Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (89) lines up during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Duke Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

LSU DB out for the year

In other SEC injury news, LSU lost safety Todd Harris to a season-ending injury in the win over Northwestern State. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said Harris, a junior, will take a redshirt to preserve a year of eligibility.

Harris mainly played on special teams during his first two years on campus before moving into a more significant role this season.

LSU, now 3-0 and ranked No. 4 in the country, will play its SEC opener on the road against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

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