Practice Report: Defensive Line may be Extremely Shorthanded for Western Carolina

Christopher Walsh

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama held its first practice not only for Western Carolina, but with redshirt sophomore Mac Jones as the starting quarterback.

Jones led his position group through drills, ahead of true freshmen Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson on Tuesday afternoon. 

Junior wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (ribs) did practice, but was limited. So were freshman nose tackle D.J. Dale (knee) and sophomore defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (undisclosed)with the defensive linemen. 

Senior defensive end Raekwon Davis (ankle) was absent during the media viewing. 

Freshman Byron Young and senior Tevita Musika were leading drills. redshirt freshman Stephon Wynn and true freshman Justin Eboigbe went second on the sleds, while redshirt freshman Christian Barmore looked to be more in the mix. 

Alabama started the season with 12 scholarship players on the position group. It might have half that many available for Western Carolina (11 a.m. CT, ESPN). 

Also of note, the first-team secondary had number players shadowing the starters including safety Jordan Battle and cornerback Josh Jobe. 

The team worked in full pads. Conditions were 66 degrees and sunny. Per The Weather Channel, Saturday's forecast for the final home game of the season is high of 56 degrees and 40 percent chance of rain. 

Players were given Sunday off following the 38-7 victory at Mississippi State, and Alabama didn't practice on Monday.