TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama will be missing a key factor along the defensive front for the rest of the season.
Head coach Nick Saban said outside linebacker Christopher Allen has a foot fracture that will require surgery that will likely cause him to miss the entire season.
"Chris Allen does have a foot fracture that will require surgery, so he is most likely out for the year," Saban said.
Allen was making quite an impact on the Miami game before his injury on Saturday. In fact, he injured his foot on the same play in which he forced a fumble on Hurricanes quarterback D'Eriq King that was recovered by Phidarian Mathis.
The redshirt senior tore his ACL during fall camp of 2018 and missed that entire season with a medical redshirt while recovering from the injury. He can technically use his COVID year to return next season if he so chooses. Allen led the SEC in tackles for loss last season and had six sacks earning him second team All-SEC honors in 2020.
"Chris was a good player, it's very tough to lose him unfortunately," Alabama defensive back Brian Branch said. "But moving forward we have a very good depth at the linebacker position. I think everybody who comes in is going to bring that same intensity as Chris did."
Drew Sanders came in to replace Allen on Saturday and will continue to do so throughout the season according to Saban.
"We've got a lot of confidence in Drew," Saban said. "He is a good athlete, smart, hard worker, plays with toughness, gives great effort. So we'll have to bring some other guys along with that position as well, but we're really pleased and confident in Drew."
After coming in as a replacement against Miami, Sanders finished the game with six tackles. Branch said Sanders comes to practice ready to work every day.
"His work ethic is incredible," Branch said. "He plays hard, physical. That linebacker position is really, really tough. The depth at it is amazing how everybody is just good."