A season after winning their 17th national championship and doing it battling injuries all season the Alabama Crimson Tide find themselves in a struggle once again. In the matter of a week, Alabama has lost two players at the linebacker position.
Terrell Lewis, a junior linebacker for the Crimson Tide, tore his ACL last week in training.
“Terrell Lewis suffered a torn right ACL last week while training,” head coach Nick Saban said on July 10. “He underwent successful surgery today, and a timeframe for his return is unknown at this time.”
Last season, Lewis started one game and missed ten as a result to an upper arm injury which occurred in the season opener against Florida State. Alabama won that game 24-7. During the games he did play, he recorded 16 tackles, two for loss, one sack, and a pass break up. The former 4-star recruit can’t catch a break with injuries. However, he took to Twitter to let fans know the surgery went well and he is in good spirits.
Alabama’s left with four experienced players at outside linebacker which include Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings, Jamey Mosley and Christopher Allen. They can also add in the true freshman Eyabi Anoma and Cameron Latu as potential guys to step up. Keith Holcombe is still unsure if he will return for another football season or if he will focus solely on baseball.
On Monday, the university announced that linebacker VanDarius Cowan is no longer with the team for a violation of team rules.
“Each of us has a responsibility to represent The University of Alabama in a first-class way, and failure to meet those standards can’t be tolerated,” Saban said of the situation. “We wish VanDarius the very best in the future.”
Cowan was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after a fight broke out at a local bar in Tuscaloosa on June 23. Cowan allegedly punched 26-year old Jesse Ray which resulted in a few injuries and required stitches. Cowan played in seven games and recorded two tackles last season.
Preseason camp begins early next month as Alabama prepares for the season opener versus Louisville Sept. 1 in Orlando, Florida. Injuries are a common problem for Alabama and the Crimson Tide will have limited time to make the adjustments needed.
Defense has been a staple during the Saban era. It will be interesting to see if this is a damaging blow to the Tide’s title defense.